Before releasing a new product, starting a business or making an investment, it’s good to take a step back and take a look at it more closely. A SWOT Analysis is a good tool to review the new venture. PBA rookies are a similar venture. So why not put them under the same microscope?
Jaydee Tungcab was supposed to be one of the more promising recruits entering the collegiate ranks. Thanks to his all-around game, he was named to the UAAP Juniors Mythical Five in his one and done season of high school basketball and earned an invite to play in the 2015 SLAM Rising Stars Classic.
However, things didn’t go exactly as planned for the 6’2” swingman once he stepped foot at the Seniors level. What was supposed to be a long career at Adamson only lasted two seasons, as he played behind the likes of Sean Manganti, Jerrick Ahanmisi and Jonathan Espeleta.
Needing a change of scenery, Tungcab decided to pack his things for Diliman. The UP program was on the rise and attracted similar top-tier talent. During the course of his stay with the Fighting Maroons, Tungcab had to deal with the logjam at the guard and wing positions that starred the brothers De Liaño, Ricci Rivero, and Kobe Paras, among others. Consequently, he had to adjust his game into becoming more of a defensive stopper to earn minutes in Bo Perasol’s rotation.
Though underappreciated in his varsity tenure, Tungcab’s abilities and skillset were enough to merit the attention of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and offered him a spot in the Gilas Pilipinas’ cadets program. Japan’s B.League also came knocking, as he initially committed to suit up for the Koshigaya Alphas side only to be halted by the ongoing pandemic.
With him now eyeing the PBA as the next stop in his hoops career, let’s look at how Tungcab will fare at the next level:
In his lone year of Juniors basketball, Jaydee Tungcab stood among the competition with a rare combination of size, skill and athleticism. At 6’2”, he was big enough to do battle in the frontline yet is deceivingly quick to cover opposing guards and wingmen. On the offensive end, he is able to create his own shot as well as being a heady facilitator, able to call out plays, set up his teammates for a bucket or be utilized as another ball-handler in breaking a full court press.
While he had to tweak his game in college, Tungcab managed to earn his spurs by becoming a lock-down defender, able to guard all perimeter spots among the UAAP’s best in those positions. Occasionally, he has also helped in orchestrating plays in unloading the burden from his team’s floor general.
By sacrificing his offense in concentrating more on the other end, this has somehow affected Tungcab’s ability of being a scorer. This was obvious in the few times that he would have the opportunity to score that sometimes led to a turnover, a bad miss or even an airball.
To further elaborate, with today’s game hinged on an uptempo pace and making long-range shots, especially at this position, Tungcab will need to polish up his shooting to be an asset as a valuable 3-and-D player to both the Gilas Program and soon, the TNT Tropang Giga.
The good thing for Tungcab is that being part of the Special Draft for Gilas Cadets, he won’t be immediately thrown into the fire of professional basketball. His stay with Gilas will allow him adequate time to shore up his game. It also helps for Tungcab that he’ surrounded by an equally competitive talent pool both in the roster of players, as well as the coaching and management staff.
Should he be able to play in international competitions as part of the national team, this will serve as great exposure and additional experience especially if he will be able to fully display the wares that he had during his HS days.
With the TNT KaTropa drafting him with the 4th pick of the Special Draft, this situation also bodes well for Tungcab as the team has a veteran wing in Roger Pogoy. That way, it will enable a young player like him to transition gradually thru learning the ropes from the veteran. Also, with a coach such as Chot Reyes known to place a premium on the defensive side of the floor, it’s possible for Tungcab to immediately contribute as defense has become his meal ticket to the pros.
As it stands, TNT seems indeed to be the ideal landing spot for Tungcab as the team looks to boost its wings following the departure of Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. It should be noted that there are no other legit swingmen in the Tropang Giga roster aside from Pogoy and new rookie Mikey Williams. Given his playmaking skills and defensive ability, Tungcab is expected to be part of the rotation as soon as he gets recalled from his national team duty.
Although there is the assurance of being drafted because of his inclusion in the Special Draft, there is also a downside for Tungcab being in this scenario given the prolonged period of having to render time with Gilas as compared to immediately suiting up for a PBA team.
This can result in a stunted progress of Tungcab adjusting to the rigors of the pro league. More so, given the surplus of wings around, there is the possibility of his PBA team signing another swingman or two to cover for his spot while waiting for his reassignment from the Gilas program. This may hold true especially for a champion calibre team like TNT, which is expected to compete for a title at any given conference. There is a chance that these players are able to perform well, which may very lead to Tungcab being sunk in the rotation once again, similar to his college days before.
But then again, playing defense remains a valuable asset in the game. If Tungcab is able to retain or even improve his defensive versatility during his tenure with Gilas, then it will bode him well once he sees action in the PBA.