|Mike Ayonayon, second from left, is joining NLEX for the PBA bubble, while Larry Fonacier, middle right, begs off. Nikki Collantes (file photo)|
MANILA--Looking to fill the void left by Larry Fonacier's decision not to join the upcoming PBA bubble, NLEX coach Yeng Guiao activated rookie Mike Ayonayon.
"Ang kukuha ng slot niya si Ayonayon,"Guiao confirmed on Saturday via the PBA website.
The initial plan is to let Ayonayon, the third pick of the regular PBA Draft last year, finish his duties with San Juan in the MPBL before finally getting to suit up in the PBA.
However, the uncertainty on the resumption of the MPBL Playoffs opened a chance for the Road Warriors to bring the explosive guard to their lineup.
With the MPBL not yet sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board unlike the PBA, the regional league cannot resume its season amid the COVID-19 pandemic just yet.
Ayonayon is expected to get more playing time in Guiao's rotation as Cyrus Baguio also begged off from joining the bubble set at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center and Quest Hotel.
The development put the Knights on a dilemma on who will step up in their MPBL title defense once the league finally gets the clearance to resume play.
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