A former prep-to-pro player will anchor TNT KaTropa’s campaign in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Katropa has formally come to terms with Jeremy Tyler and is set to come over here the first week of April in time for the opener of the import-laden conference which opens third week of the same month.
Team manager Virgil Villavicencio confirmed closing the deal with the 26-year-old Tyler, who was picked in the second round (39th overall) by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2011 NBA draft after foregoing his senior year at San Diego High School in California.
“He’s coming over early first week of April,” said Villavicencio. “Pero tingnan din namin if he can come kahit end of this month.”
Tyler was also reportedly under the radar of defending champion San Miguel, which later on settled for Troy Gillenwater.
Coach Nash Racela said Tyler will definitely give the Katropa flexibility.
"He's a multi-position player who could play both in and out," said Racela.
The 6-foot-10 Tyler was a sought-after player in high school and had already committed to play for University of Louisville under Rick Pitino, when he decided to totally skip his senior year and turned pro instead in 2009.
He took his act abroad and signed with the Maccabi, Haifa in the Israeli Super League, and then packed his things and played for Tokyo Apache in Japan the following year.
It was not until 2011 when he decided to apply for the NBA draft which saw the Bobcats pick him, only to trade his rights to the Golden State Warriors, where he stayed until 2013, while playing for the Dakota Wizards in the NBA G-League in between.
After two seasons, the Warriors dealt him to the Atlanta Hawks for a future second round pick. He didn’t last with the team as he was waived just before the 2014 playoffs.
Tyler never played again in the NBA and spent his time playing in the NBA G-League.
He then saw action in the Chinese Basketball League (CBA), and later on, with the Sydney Kings in the National Basketball League (NBL).
But Tyler will be hard-pressed to deliver for the Katropa in his first foray in the league as the franchise reached the finals of this same tournament last year with hulking Joshua Smith as import to finish runner-up behind champion San Miguel.
The 6-foot-10 Smith is currently under contract with the Kyoto Hannaryz and playing in Japan.