Youthful playmaker Jeric Fortuna will be reunited with his college coach Pido Jarencio after newcomer Phoenix unloaded the former University of Santo Tomas playmaker to GlobalPort on Tuesday in exchange for the Batang Pier’s 2018 2nd round draft pick.
Phoenix coach Koy Banal said the decision to ship the 5-foot-8 point guard to GlobalPort was a “no-brainer” already since Jarencio knows how to maximize the talent of Fortuna.
“Si Pido ang tumawag sa akin about Jeric. So ako naman, I just want to help Jeric,” Banal told FOX Sports on Tuesday. “Siyempre, ibibigay ko na lang siya dun sa coach na alam siya gamitin.”
Fortuna, the 14th overall pick of Barako Bull in the 2013 draft, has been averaging just 8.5 minutes at Phoenix in the ongoing Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The speedy Fortuna is actually buried deep in the Phoenix guard rotation that includes fast-rising Phoenix star RR Garcia, Josh Urbiztondo and Chico Lanete.
One thing going for Fortuna is the experience he gained in his young career, having been part of San Miguel’s 2 championships last season, before being traded back to Barako Bull during the offseason.
The Barako Bull franchise was eventually bought out by Phoenix over a month ago.
At GlobalPort, Fortuna is expected to split time at the point guard spot with rookie Roi Sumang, especially since Fil-Am playmaker Stanley Pringle will be out for at least 2 weeks due to sprained ankle.
Fortuna played under Jarencio for 5 UAAP seasons at UST.
In his final collegiate season, he led the Growling Tigers to a runner-up finish in 2012 behind 5-peat UAAP men’s basketball champion Ateneo Blue Eagles. — By Richard Dy