NLEX acquires Chua, sends Porter, picks to Phoenix

Published February 24, 2022, 2:13 PM

by Reynald I. Magallon

The NLEX Road Warriors has acquired the services of big man Justin Chua from Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters in exchange for Kris Porter and two future draft picks on Thursday, Feb. 24.

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The Commissioner’s office gave its thumb up to the trade which also included NLEX’s 2021 second round and 2022 first round picks.

NLEX, which is currently in the running for a playoffs spot with a 6-3 record, has beefed up its lineup after losing rookie Calvin Oftana and Anthony Semerad to injuries.

The trade should also come as a breath of fresh air for Chua who has been struggling as of late for Phoenix.

Chua only normed 5.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in the PBA Governor’s Cup, a far cry from his 11.6 points and 6.6 rebounds and then-league best 1.6 blocks averages during the 2020 All-Filipino at the Clark PBA Bubble.

He helped Phoenix reach the semifinals of that conference where the Fuel Masters went one win shy of a possible first Finals appearance for the franchise. He also earned the PBAPC Top Bubble D-fender citation and finished close second to Ginebra’s Prince Caperal for the Most Improved Player Award.

The sweet-shooting center is expected to get his fine form back under Coach Yeng Guiao’s system where stretch big men like him are known to strive.

Phoenix, on the other hand, has invested to its future with the picks while also securing a solid back-up big man for Jayson Perkins.