Barako Bull beefed up its frontline Tuesday by acquiring 6-foot-7 center Jason Ballesteros from Meralco in exchange for veterans Carlo Sharma and Sunday Salvacion.
Ballesteros, a former member of the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national program, spent most of his rookie season on the bench for the Bolts, but Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi believes he can develop into a key contributor.
“I still believe in the saying, you can’t teach height, so it’s hard to pass up a 6-foot-7 player like Ballesteros,” Baculi told InterAKTV. “He’s a project player. We will see if our coaching skills will be able to turn him into an effective player.”
Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio said the deal gives the Bolts two players who can step in and contribute right away. Sharma, he said, will help fill the void created by the departure of Asi Taulava, who has signed with the San Miguel Beermen in the ASEAN Basketball League.
“We need someone who can be an efficient defender at the post and give Jay-R Reyes some quality minutes, that’s why we got Sharma,” Gregorio said in a telephone interview.
“We have to remember to that June Mar Fajardo will be playing this season so we need someone who can defend him at the post. As for Salvacion, he will shore up our small forward spot because Mark Borboran always gets hurt lately. He will open up the floor for us.”