MAGNOLIA didn’t sign up rookie free agent Loren Brill from out of the blue.
The Hotshots saw the player up close in practice and when the opportunity came for the team to tap his services, it didn’t think twice in calling up the son of former national player Louie Brill.
Coach Chito Victolero called the young Brill as Magnolia’s ‘project’ as he previously worked out with the Hotshots prior to the recent PBA draft.
On Monday, he was signed to a one-year deal by Magnolia management.
“Before the draft, na-invite na namin siya. And then after the draft, kasi kulang pa kami ng isa, ininvite uli namin siya, and nakita namin na merong potential,” said Victolero on Monday.
“Hindi namin siya masyadong nakita kasi wala nga tayong (rookie) camp, pero yung resume niya maganda. And during our cluster [practices], maganda yung ipinakita niya.”
Brill was taken at No. 26 overall (third round) by NorthPort, but never got the chance to reach a contract agreement with the Batang Pier.
After taking in Jerrick Ahanmisi in the first round (10th overall), Magnolia has no pick in the second round, having given up its No. 18 selection to Phoenix as part of the trade for Calvin Abueva.
The Hotshots never got to pick again until the third round at No. 30, by which time, Brill had already been picked by the Batang Pier. They instead used the selection to tab Ronnie De Leon from University of the East, which the team likewise signed to a contract deal.
With Brill available as a free agent, Victolero opted to renew his ties with him, especially with the Hotshots losing guard Chris Banchero in the trade for Abueva.
“He’s a big guard also just like Jerrick (Ahanmisi), and medyo bulky yan e, parang si (Brian) Heruela. So we feel we can use him on both ends of the floor,” Victolero said of the young Brill.
“Although siyempre in experience, wala pa gaano kasi siyempre sa States siya naglaro,” added the champion coach. “Ang maganda kapag nakasama na namin siya. Besides, he’s only 22 or 23 years old.”
Also coming on board for Magnolia is Alvin Capobres, a previous rookie draftee of the team in 2019, but failed to make it to the regular roster for the Philippine Cup bubble last season.
Capobre’s father, Danny, was a former teammate of Victolero with the San Juan Knights in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).