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    NorthPort goes for youth, sign big men Guinto and Gabayni to two-year deals

    Jan 8, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    NORTHPORT went for youth over experience, signing young guns Bradwyn Guinto and Joseph Gabayni less than a week before the team kicks off its campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup.

    Guinto, a fourth-year center, agreed to a two-year deal with the Batang Pier, while Gabayni received a similar two-year contract entering his sophomore season.

    Terms of the deal were not made available although its certain none of the two got a maximum offer.

    The signing of the two afforded the Batang Pier to unconditionally release veteran forward Gabby Espinas as Guinto and Gabayni now share frontcourt chores with Mo Tautuaa, do-it-all Sean Anthony and rookie free agent Jom Sollano.

    The five big men are part of the 12-man roster submitted by the franchise to the PBA office in time for Tuesday’s press launch of the league’s 44th season, a copy of which was acquired by

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    Others completing the Batang Pier roster are Stanley Pringle, Nico Elorde, Ryan Arana, Jonathan Grey, Paolo Taha, Lervin Flores and rookie Robert Bolick.

    Conspicuously not included from last year’s line-up aside from Espinas are guards Jeric Teng and Jeric Fortuna.

    But team insiders said the Batang Pier are still trying to complete a 13-man roster for the All-Filipino conference that formally opens on Sunday at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

    Among those trying out for roster spots include AJ Mandani, Dylan Ababou and rookie Jeremiah Taladua, a fourth round pick by NorthPort in the last draft.

    Guinto played in a total of 35 games last season and averaged 4.1 points and 3.5 rebounds while playing 14.2 minutes per game. Gabayni averaged 10.1 minutes per outing as a rookie and submitted numbers of 2.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 28 games.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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