Jamie Malonzo considers himself one of top picks

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VERSATILE forward Jamie Malonzo believes he’s proven himself worthy of being selected as one of the top picks in the upcoming 2021 PBA Rookie Draft on March 14.

An athletic 6-foot-6 forward, Malonzo showed what he’s capable of in his lone season for the La Salle Green Archers in UAAP Season 82 where he earned a spot on the prestigious Mythical Five team, thanks to stellar averages of 15.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

Malonzo then played for Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League and debuted in spectacular fashion, putting up 23 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, four steals, and a block in the very first game for the Skippers.

“For the draft, I see myself going one, two. Maybe three. But definitely, for sure, one of the top picks,” said Malonzo during his appearance on “The Chasedown.”

Pundits have pegged Malonzo to go as one of the top picks alongside the explosive Joshua Munzon. Terrafirma holds the top pick and is in need of a brand-new franchise player after it recently traded away its top stud, CJ Perez.

But for all his offensive ability, Malonzo says he takes more pride in being a capable defender.

“I consider myself a defender at the end of the day. I try my hardest on both ends of the court, especially the defensive side—I like playing it,” shared Malonzo. “Whether we’re down 20 or up 20, I’m going to keep playing defense.” (JNP)