Justin Chua will play a special role when he suits up for TNT Tropang Giga in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup starting this Sunday at the Philsports Arena.
Tropang Giga head coach Jojo Lastimosa told Daily Tribune that Chua will serve as their “insurance big man” in preparation for the looming retirement of veteran Kelly Williams and the possible absences of Poy Erram due to injuries.
Together with defensive guard Paul Varilla, Chua is set to join the Tropang Giga as part of a multiple-team trade that will send Jay Alejandro and Raul Soyud to Phoenix Super LPG and Sean Anthony and Jake Pascual to NLEX.
The transaction will be completed pending the approval of the Commissioner’s Office.
Lastimosa said there’s a pressing need for them to acquire Chua.
“We needed an insurance big man so Justin is that guy. We have to prepare for the retirement of Kelly (Williams) probably in a year or two, although we don’t know when, and Poy Erram is injury-prone,” Lastimosa, also the TNT team manager, said.
“Paul, on the other hand, is a tough guard and we love his motor, not just me, but the assistant coaches as well.”
On Tuesday night, Chua confirmed that newly-appointed NLEX team manager Larry Fonacier informed him that he is on the move.
It’s going to be the eighth time in his career that Chua will be transferred after getting drafted by San Mig Coffee before getting traded to GlobalPort in the 2013 Rookie Draft.
He also had stints with San Miguel Beer, Barako Bull, Meralco, TNT, Phoenix, and last season, NLEX, in which he played with Lastimosa as team manager.
Like Chua, Anthony had also been shipped quite a number of times in his career.
He was traded by Powerade to San Mig Coffee, which immediately dealt him to Barako Bull for Aldrech Ramos in 2012.
Then, he had stops at TNT, Air21, Meralco, NLEX, GlobalPort and Phoenix.