Former Gilas standout Rey Suerte has signed a two-year deal to play for the Blackwater Bossing, signaling the start of his professional career after spending the last two years playing for the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team.
Suerte, a 6-foot-3 wingman who previously played for the University of the Visayas, will shore up a Blackwater team that has not tasted a win in the last 24 games. He will team up in the backcourt with another Cebuano and another UV product in Paul Desiderio.
Suerte, who also built his reputation playing for the University of the East in the UAAP, was the second overall pick of the 2019 PBA Gilas Draft.
Meanwhile, Suerte’s batchmate from the Gilas draft, Allyn Bulanadi, has also signed a contract with the Alaska Aces. The wingman from Davao was not able to suit up for the Gilas in the last two years due to a myriad of injuries. After a stellar stint at San Sebastian in the NCAA, he hopes to restart his career with the Aces when they take on Rain or Shine on February 17.
In other PBA free agency news, Adrian Wong has signed a two-year deal with the Magnolia Hotshots. A 6-foot-3 wingman from Ateneo, Wong was given an unconditional release by Rain or Shine and quickly found a home in Magnolia where he joins a backcourt manned by Paul Lee, Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon.
Northport also replenished its roster by signing three new players in Roi Sumang, Alvin Abundo and Criz Dumapig. Sumang and Abundo will be making a return to the big league after spending last year playing in various leagues.
Sumang suited up for Nueva Ecija in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational Cup, and normed 8.1 points, 2.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game. On the other hand, Abundo played for San Juan-GFG AICC in the MPBL, averaging 5.4 points, 4.2 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per match.
Dumapig, a bruising 6-foot-4 enforcer, played for Zamboanga Sibugay in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao Challenge.
Northport has had a tough break, losing three key players in Robert Bolick, Greg Slaughter, and Nico Elorde. All three were not able to agree to contract extensions with Northport.