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Blockbuster deal gets PBA approval

The Philippine Basketball Association formally issued the green light on the blockbuster deal focused on rising star Calvin Oftana, Troy Rosario and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser with barely a couple of days before the opening of the Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Based on the approved deal, NLEX shipped Oftana and forward Raoul Soyud to Blackwater in exchange for top overall pick Ganuelas-Rosser and the 2022 and 2025 second-round draft choices.

Oftana and Soyud were then dealt to TNT Tropang Giga for prized forward Troy Rosario and wingman Gab Banal to round out the three-team transaction.

Bossing head coach Ariel Vanguardia was very pleased with the deal, saying that having Rosario and Banal will allow them to establish a rock-solid squad for the import-flavored conference.

After all, both players already have playoff experience after being part of the Tropang Giga squad that made a deep run in the previous conferences.

“It’s time for us to build from our playoff run last conference and Troy and Gab will give us a lot of playoff experience moving forward,” said Vanguardia, who is looking forward to giving gunners JV Casio and Baser Amer a solid rebounder in Rosario.

“As a coach, the challenge is to make this work and we will only know if the decision that we made is right based on the result.”

NLEX head coach Adonis Tierra was also satisfied with the outcome of the mega deal.

“Our frontline got stronger and our rebounding will improve,” said Tierra, who is taking the coaching cudgels from Yeng Guiao.

“Of course, in scoring, we got a bit weaker because of the departure of Calvin Oftana. But with Don Trollano, Kevin Alas and Justin Chua, the scoring department is still there.”

“Looking at Brandon, he’s quick for his height. He can defend imports and it could be an advantage for us based on what we saw in his games at Blackwater.”

But completing the blockbuster deal wasn’t easy.

In fact, when the proposal was brought to the Commissioner’s Office, some team owners raised a howl, saying that there was a previous agreement in which the top overall pick is not eligible to be traded unless they complete two seasons with the team that drafted him.

Daily Tribune sources said the agreement was an off-shoot of the controversial Christian Standhardinger transaction in 2017 that led to the division among team owners and the resignation of former commissioner Chito Narvasa.

Since then, no top pick was traded until the Bossing shipped Ganuelas-Rosser despite playing for just one conference with them.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, however, stressed that everything was done aboveboard.

“There was no such agreement,” Marcial said.

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