Basketball

PBA approves seven-player deal among Air 21, Ginebra, Petron

AKTV/Pranz Kaeno Billones

The PBA on Thursday morning approved the proposed trade featuring seven players and two draft picks among Air 21, Ginebra, and Petron.

In the deal, the Express will receive Petron big men Noy Baclao and Rob Reyes and Ginebra wingmen KG Canaleta and John Wilson; Petron will receive center Magi Sison, guard Paolo Hubalde, and a 2014 second round pick from Air 21; and Ginebra will receive Elmer Espiritu and Air 21′s first round pick in 2013.

Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren earlier told InterAKTV that the team intended to build up its big man rotation, and this trade accomplishes exactly that. “At least we got our wish to beef up our frontline,” he said.

On Twitter, San Miguel Corporation executive Noli Eala explained the logic for the conglomerates’ two teams involved in the transaction.

“Trades by (Petron Blaze Boosters) / Ginebra San Miguel with Air 21 today were done for reasons of salary cap, spreading minutes, future buildup, player growth. Thinking ahead,” wrote Eala.

With the deal, Petron is able to carve out a rotation spot for June Mar Fajardo, the 6-foot-10 former University of Cebu slotman selected first overall in last Sunday’s draft, who will no longer have to contend with Baclao and Reyes for minutes at the crowded center position for the Boosters. Dorian Pena and Danny Ildefonso also play center for the team.

Ginebra, meanwhile, is building for the future with the trade, tabbing a first round pick that figures to be among the top selections next year.

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