MANILA, Philippines -- Rizal-Xentro Mall will try to bounce back from its disappointing campaign in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season, after the Golden Coolers finished with a paltry 7-22 win-loss record.
To begin their rebuild, they signed Cebuano scorer Eloy Poligrates for the upcoming season of the league.
"No one wants to end last on the rank of course, so after meeting with the owners, we all agreed that we have to build a more competitive squad," said Rizal-Xentro Mall team manager Anj Anzores.
"Signing Eloy is really a big step, especially as all teams are rebuilding," he added. "Getting him early is an advantage. At least, we already secured a guy that we know will be of great help."
Rizal-Xentro Mall knows exactly what it is getting from the enigmatic 6-foot guard.
Coming off a turbulent time with Cebu-Casino Ethyl Alcohol that saw him play just six games, Poligrates decided to play in the PBA D-League for Marinerong Pilipino.
During the Aspirants' Cup, Poligrates went on to average 21.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.6 steals per game, leading the Skippers to a second place finish.
Poligrates then signed with Val City but played just four games there.
Aside from Poligrates, Rizal also signed 2019 NAASCU Rookie of the Year Nikko Panganiban.
Panganiban, a 20-year-old guard out of Our Lady of Fatima University, averaged 18.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game during the 2019 season of NAASCU.
Big man Mark Benitez, who averaged 12.0 points and 7.2 rebounds during the Lakan Season, also signed a two-year extension with the Golden Coolers.
"We are talking to several collegiate and NBL players as well that we can't name pa because they are still awaiting approval from their mother teams," Anzores said.
Rizal-Xentro Mall though will have a new head coach as JV Gayoso will not return for the fourth season of the Chooks-to-Go-backed league.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).