Gearing up for its PBA Philippine Cup title defense, Barangay Ginebra has tapped the services of free agent MJ Ayaay.
No less than coach Tim Cone confirmed the Kings’ acquisition of the former Alaska standout through a tweet on Monday, although terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“We welcome newly signed MJ Ayaay to the Ginebra Family!” Cone said via his Twitter account @manilacone.
Cone, the league’s winningest mentor with 23 titles under his belt, expressed his excitement to form a formidable backcourt duo in Ayaay and Scottie Thompson, two former NCAA stalwarts from Lyceum and Perpetual Help, respectively.
“We’re looking forward to pairing him with Scottie in the backcourt,” he added.
The 27-year-old Ayaay, the ninth overall pick in the 2018 Draft, averaged 3.1 points and 2.5 rebounds for the Aces in last year’s Philippine Cup bubble conference where they lost to the TNT Tropang Giga in the quarterfinals.
Thompson, on the other hand, was a pivotal piece in the Kings’ first All-Filipino title run in 13 years, with the 27-year-old high-flyer posting 11.0 points, 8.8 boards and 5.8 assists.
Ginebra made an early offseason move as it recently welcomed Greg Slaughter back to the team.
Slaughter apologized to SMC chief Ramon S. Ang and sports director Alfrancis Chua for any misunderstanding caused by his sabbatical after his contract expired at the end of the Kings’ championship run in the 2019 Governor’s Cup.