PBA trade talks swirled around the entire Philippine basketball world today. A huge swap of players was completed and approved today as 10 guys will find themselves wearing new jerseys come the Commissioner’s Cup. The trade involved five teams and it was a total of four trades to get everything done.
Here is the breakdown of who goes where.
Petron Blaze Boosters
Ronald Tubid (from Barako)
San Mig Coffee Mixers
Alex Mallari (from Petron)
Leo Najorda (from Barako)
Lester Alvarez (from Barako)
Petron’s 2014 First Round pick (from Barako)
Barako Bull Energy Colas
Jojo Duncil (from Petron)
JC Intal (from San Mig Coffee)
Jonas Villanueva (from San Mig Coffee)
Allein Maliksi (from Ginebra)
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel
Mac Baracael (from Alaska)
Aldrech Ramos (from San Mig Coffee)
Petron gave up a top three pick in last year’s PBA Draft and a former UAAP Finals MVP in this trade. You might read that and think, “they definitely lost that trade.” I don’t think so. Alex Mallari was collecting more dust than a broken down car in Petron. This is a great move for them. This will open up more time for Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz, and finally gives the Blaze Boosters a great defensive player on the perimeter and finally lessens their players on the extremely stacked line-up.
I think that San Mig Coffee gave up the most in this trade. They give up the Boom Gonzales lookalike in Jonas Villanueva, the fanbase of Bianca Gonzales, and a first round pick in Aldrech Ramos. What they get in return is youth, health, and maybe a gem or two. Leo Najorda has proven that he can score in the league. he is one of the more underrated players in the league. Lester Alvarez fits more of the mold of a Tim Cone type of point guard. And this could be a breakout for Alex Mallari if he can play solid defense and take over Wesley Gonzales’ role on the team.
Barako Bull Energy Colas are going big or going home. They will be bringing in four players that have been having problems with injuries. Duncil, Intal, Villanueva, and Maliksi have all sat out some time due to aches and pains here and there. Are they 100%? We will have to see? If they aren’t, can they handle the insanely hard practices of Coach Rajko Toroman? That’s going to be a completely different story. They went all in on this trade hoping for an ace on the river.
Speaking of ace, the Alaska Aces could be the sneaky winner in the deal. Mac Baracael was lost in the rotation of this team. He was too small to play the four when Calvin Abueva was on the floor. He didn’t have enough of a consistent shot when he was played at the three when Gabby Espinas was in the game. Aldrech Ramos solves all of that. The former FEU Tamaraw (Ramos) could make an instant splash with the Aces. He is big enough to play the four, shoots good enough to maybe even play the three, and he can run up and down the court. Seems like a pretty good fit to me.
And lastly, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings getting Mac Baracael. First of all, this dude will look pretty good in a Ginebra jersey. With everything that Baracael has been through, he is “Never Say Die.” If he can bring the energy and get a little crazy in the Rudy Hatfield type of way, he might be able to contribute to this team. If not, he will be sitting beside either Keith Jensen or Elmer Espiritu on that bench. He has the talent and the system could be good for him, but only time will tell.
I don’t think that this is the last PBA trade we will be seeing before the start of the new conference. *cough*Japeth*cough*