FORMER England national team assistant coach Tony Garbelotto believes he has found a gem in Joshua Eugene Munzon, who now plays for his Saigon Heat in the ABL, although he reckons the Fil-American will soon be on his way to the PBA.
The 21-year-old Munzon is doing pretty well as an Asean heritage import for Saigon. But Garbelotto thinks that in two years, the former NCAA Division II player should be able to earn a spot in a PBA team.
After suiting up for California State University-Los Angeles, Munzon is taking the ABL route and he looks set to follow in the footsteps of fellow Fil-foreigners Chris Banchero, Matthew Wright, and Kris Rosales.
“I have high expectations. Perhaps in one to two years, he has a real chance in the Philippines. I think that’s his destiny. I really believe that he has a future in the PBA. He is that kind of level player,” Garbelotto said of Munzon.
Munzon averaged 13.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists in three games with Saigon, but the highlight of his stat line is the 4.7 steals per game - second in the league so far.
Garbelotto said Munzon has the skill set of Rosales on defense but with a lot more range. Rosales played for the Singapore Slingers before getting a spot at TNT Katropa.
“He is going to be the Rosales type. He can defend but has more range than Kris did. This kid has unlimited range,” said Garbelotto.
The British coach noted other coaches also gave Munzon high marks.
“I contacted the coaches who played against him in the conference and they say he is the best defensive player in the conference, unbelievable competitor, and has a great attitude. I really think he is a talent. My initial impression hasn’t changed,” said Garbelotto.
“He is super quick, very athletic, very competitive, and has a very good skill set. He has the ability to get into the basketball, shoot, and defend with a lot of length,” he said.
Garbelotto said in time he will be PBA-ready especially in terms of his physique.
“He needs to get stronger and prove to us that he can do it when it matters,” said Garbelotto of the 203-pound Munzon.