A new Ateneo senior has decided to move an unexpected Eagles’ nest.
Troy Mallillin has decided to turn professional, signing with Rizal Xentro Mall for the ongoing 2022 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Mumbaki Cup on Thursday.
High is the expectation of new Golden Coolers head coach Jonathan Banal for the 6-foot-3 Mallillin as he is tasked to fill the shoes left by John Apacible.
“He will be a good help to the team especially nawala si John Apacible sa amin,” said Banal as Apacible was drafted and signed by Northport in the PBA.
Mallillin played sparingly for Ateneo during UAAP Season 84, playing in just three games.
Still, the upside is high for the former NCAA Juniors Basketball Most Valuable Player.
In Rizal, Mallillin will join Jolo Mendoza, who also decided to forgo his final year with Ateneo.
Also part of the team’s new signings are Far Eastern University product Brandrey Bienes and former Magnolia guard Alvin Capobres.
“I am happy to have them,” expressed Banal. “They will bring a winning culture as a team and we want the team to be competitive. We want to change yung dating culture ng Rizal na talunan for the past seasons. Gusto namin ibahin yun.”
Rizal is currently 0-1 in the young season, losing to Sarangani 83-94 last May 21 at Ynares Center.
The quarter is expected to make their debut on June 7 when Rizal faces GenSan at Caloocan Sports Complex.
Rizal finished with a 1-4 record in Group D of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational Cup.