TNT followed the footsteps of San Miguel Beer while Meralco did something similar to a Ginebra move in making their team competitive via the trade route.
Here are both teams’ major moves this 2021 offseason, with TNT probably to responding to and make up ground for their loss of Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. due to his unexpected hiatus and Meralco going for a crucial piece that fits their lineup while dispatching a guard that duplicates the role of someone in their starting lineup.
See related story: SMC teams playing the trade game flawlessly
NLEX traded its no. 4 pick to Blackwater for Roi Sumang, Don Trollano, Maurice Shaw and the Bossings’ 2022 2nd round pick, which send that No. 4 pick to Talk N Text for Simon Enciso, David Semerad, TNT’s 2023 1st round pick and 2024 2nd round pick
This is an obvious mismatch, with TNT acquiring the rights to Jaydee Tungcab as a special draftee to Gilas and Mikey Williams in the regular draft.
Williams is listed 6’2” guard who played 39 games during the 2014-15 NBA G League season, registering 4.7 points, 2.3 assists and 1.4 rebounds for the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
He is touted as a player who could resemble Ginebra’s Stanley Pringle and be the perfect replacement for Parks.
Tungcab, along with other special draftees, will spend their first few years in the Gilas program in preparation for the 2023 FIBA World Cup where Philippines will be hosting the prestigious basketball tournament.
Upon termination of their duties to the national team program, they will be released by and can play for their PBA mother teams.
The issue here is not on the TNT buildup, it is the fact that TNT’s lineup upgrades seem to be coming at the expense of its own sister team, NLEX.
It will be recalled that TNT also acquired JP Erram through a 3-way trade before the 2020 season under questionable exchanges involving the same teams: NLEX send Erram to Blackwater in exchange for Anthony Semerad, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, a 2020 first-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick. Blackwater then shipped Erram to TNT for Ed Daquioag, Yousef Taha, Marion Magat, and first-round picks in 2021 and 2022.
It’s NLEX Head Coach Yeng Guiao I sympathize with here. Numerous reports have quoted him on how he negatively feels for these trades.
While he got some good players in return, the loss of Erram, Williams and Tungcab were too much to give for what he got.
Trollano is a nice return for this year’s 4th overall pick but Shaw, 36, and Sumang, 30, are not a long-term options and probably will not wear the NLEX uniform at all.
Guiao sacrificed 2018 top draftees Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter in order to acquire Erram, then only 29.
Losing him for NCAA Season 95 Most Valuable Player Calvin Oftana and Anthony Semerad after just one season isn’t exactly what he envisioned when he got the 2018 Defensive Player of the Year.
Blackwater, meanwhile, gets some modest upgrades along with more draft capital by becoming the conduit.
Meralco traded Baser Amer and Bryan Faundo to Blackwater for Mac Belo
This trade is fair on the surface but like Ginebra’s Slaughter-Standhardinger trade, I see Meralco winning this one.
Meralco got another versatile forward while freeing much needed minutes for 2020 Outstanding Rookie Aaron Black, 2018 first round pick Trevis Jackson, 2019 first round pick Alvin Pasaol, John Pinto and Bong Quinto.
With these backcourt compositions, Amer is a piece in the Meralco lineup that is bound to be benched or shipped. Getting Belo, who been a key contributor for the Bossings in recent years while, is definitely a steal.
Meanwhile, the 6 foot Amer’s impact on Blackwater could be minimal because playing time might be an issue as he joins a Bossings backcourt crowded by undersized guards that includes 5’10” Desiderio, 5’11” Mike Tolomia, 5’11” Simon Enciso.
By: Armando M. Bolislis