CHITO Victolero assured Jerrick Ahanmisi could very well be a big part of Magnolia’s campaign in the 46th PBA season.
The Hotshots mentor said the team intends to sign the young guard out of Adamson who they tapped in the first round at 10th pick overall during the 2020 virtual draft on Sunday.
“Isa-sign namin siya. Kung ikaw, iti-trade mo ba siya?,” quipped Victolero when asked if the team drafted Ahanmisi as possible trade bait especially to other teams wanting to have his service.
“Magagamit namin siya. I think he will help the team.”
Magnolia’s move to select the 6-foot-1 gunner came as a wonder to some especially since the Hotshots have expressed their intentions to look for a big man in the 86-man draft pool.
Victolero, the 2018 PBA Press Corps Coach of the Year, didn’t deny the team was looking for a big, but knew at No. 10, the player or players the Hotshots had their eye on would have already been taken.
Other than that, the Magnolia mentor said he also had an interest from one of seven Fil-foreign players who failed to make the draft grade for failing to complete the required necessary papers.
So he ended up going for option No. 2.
“We feel na kapag hindi umabot dun sa big man na gusto namin, ang naisip ko is pumunta doon sa best available talent na kailangan naming, and we feel that would be Ahanmisi,” said Victolero of the younger brother of Alaska stalwart Maverick Ahanmisi.
“Nakita na naman namin siya. And especially for me, he’s the best shooter among doon sa nagpa-draft.”
Victolero would rather not mention the name of the ineligible Fil-Am the Hotshots were targeting, nor the big man that got away from them, although the likes of Ben Adamos, Santi Santillan, James Laput, and Larry Muyang had been given invitation by Magnolia to work out with the team prior to the draft.
“Ilan lang naman yung mga big men na nawala. Yung isa sa mga nandun ang tinitingnan namin,” he said.
“Nanduon din yung target namin na big man,” Victolero added as Santillan, Adamos, Muyang, and Laput had been already been taken prior to the Hotshots’ 10th pick.
Besides, the arrival of do-it-all forward Calvin Abueva to Magnolia somehow eased off the team’s concern in the middle.
“Nung nakuha namin si Calvin, yung kailangan naming position sa team, napunan na niya,” said Victolero.
“Kaya ang kailangan namin ngayon mga players na magko-compliment sa mga playmakers namin like si Paul (Lee), Jio (Jalalon), and Mark (Barroca),” added the Magnolia coach. “Kailangan namin yung mga safety valves, yung puwede naming i-kick-out o i-lead pass sa kanila na sa tingin namin, may threat at may impact agad sa team na makakatulong.”
Going by that description, it certainly fits Ahanmisi.