Magnolia acquires Russel Escoto from Terrafirma in exchange for future pick

Magnolia reinforced its frontline rotation in time for the PBA’s 46th Season by acquiring big man Russel Escoto from Terrafirma in exchange for the team’s second-round pick in the 2022 draft.

The 28-year old Escoto, who was taken in by the Dyip, then known as the Mahindra Floodbuster, during the Special draft for Gilas cadets in 2016, was part of the deal that sent CJ Perez to San Miguel during the off-season.

Aside from Escoto, the Dyip received Matt Ganuelas Rosser, Gelo Alolino and the Beermen’s 1st round pick in the 2021 draft which turned out to be James Laput.

Terrafirma governor and concurrent league vice chairman Bobby Rosales confirmed the development during the Season 46 opening ceremony at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The league approved the deal on Thursday.

The arrival of the 6-foot6 Escoto will add much-needed ceiling to a team still reeling from the retirement of do-it-all forward Marc Pingris. The former FEU Tamaraw will join veterans Rafi Reavis, Ian Sangalang, Kyle Pascual and Jackson Corpuz, newcomer Calvin Abueva and rookie Ronnie de Leon in manning the Hotshots’ frontcourt.

“He’s been rehabbing for four months now. I think we still have to wait for one to two months before he is able to practice fully,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero. “But we’re excited and willing to wait for him to heal and get back to practice.”

“He’s a stretch four, a 6’6 player who can spread the floor and run. He can also help us on rebounding. Then there’s also the fact that he’s got range. That’s going to be a big help for our playmakers,” he added.

The 2014 PBA Grand Slam champs open the new season on Saturday, July 17, 4:35pm against the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters.

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