THEY’RE no Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas, but Philip Paniamogan and Bong Galanza are both good enough for NLEX to sign them up and upgrade its depleted roster for the coming PBA Governors' Cup.
Top team executive Ronald Dulatre confirmed the signings of both Paniamogan and Galanza for the season-ending meet upon the approval of coach Yeng Guiao, who watched the two practiced with the Road Warriors just before he fully concentrated on his job as coach of the Rain or Shine-backed national team to the 18th Asian Games.
Terms of the deals however, were not elaborated, although the team’s new acquisitions already suited up in the Road Warriors’ tune-up games against Meralco, Phoenix, and Rain or Shine.
NLEX tapped the services of the two as stop-gap measure with the team still without Ravena (serving an 18-month suspension from FIBA) and Alas (out with an ACL tear).
The Road Warriors are also expected to miss the services of veteran big man Asi Taulava for a few games as he will be leaving with Guiao and the rest of the national squad for the Jakarta Asiad.
Top deputies Adonis Tierra and Jojo Lastimosa are tasked to handle the coaching job in the absence of Guiao.
Curiously, Paniamogan and Galanza’s contracts were bought out by Columbian Dyip prior to the start of the Commissioner’s Cup. With no takers in the league, the two took their acts to the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), with Paniamogan hooking up with Makati Skycrapers and Galanza for the Batangas City Athletics.
There’s no denying though, the two can play ball.
The 27-year-old Paniamogan is a known streak shooter out of Jose Rizal University, who once fired seven three-pointers for a career-high 25 points in Columbia’s 105-102 win over Meralco during the 2016-17 Philippine Cup.
Undrafted in the league in 2014, he eventually hooked up with Globalport in 2015 as a free agent before joining KIA the following season.
Galanza on the other hand, was picked by Globalport in the fourth round (no. 46) of the 2015 draft, but never get to play with the team and instead, signed up with KIA the following year also as a free agent.