There was a lot of wheeling and dealing that happened over the long weekend. There were several reports speculating deals done by the TNT KaTropa with the Blackwater Elite and the Alaska Aces with the Magnolia Hotshots. Today, after the holidays, the PBA approved those trades.
The first trade has the KaTropa acquiring rising star, Bobby Ray Parks from the Elite. TNT ships a package to Blackwater that includes Don Trollano, Anthony Semerad and a 2021 first round pick.
Needless to say, this move strengthens the KaTropa’s chances at a championship. After getting close last conference, TNT is going all in by acquiring Parks. The versatile wing is currently averaging 20 points, five rebounds, close to four assists and two steals per game. He brings those numbers to the top team in the league, in need of a new leader with Jayson Castro out with an injury.
This trade is more than just a win-now. Parks is already an established BPC candidate. He joins a young core with Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy. Parks is the star that can usher in a new era for the KaTropa once Castro retires.
The Elite continue trading away key players to acquire draft picks in their rebuild. The players that they got will be able to help them as they move to their next core. Trollano and Semerad are tough players who will follow whatever roles will be given to them by their new team.
In the other trade, the Hotshots acquire point guard Chris Banchero in exchange for a couple of rotation forwards. The Aces nab Rodney Brondial and Robert Herndon in the swap.
Banchero joins a loaded back court with Paul Lee, Robert Barroca and Jio Jalalon. Banchero’s fearless style fits perfectly with the defense-first Hotshots. He’s averaging 10.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists in the conference so far. Banchero can play either guard position, but his playmaking will be an asset to the team with forwards like Romeo Travis and Ian Sangalang.
The Aces add two solid players in exchange for their lead guard. Brondial is a hard-nosed forward who’s not afraid to do battle in the paint. Herndon is small forward with the ability to hit outside shots. The two bring added depth to the Aces who are trying to rise from the bottom of the standings.