03 February 2012

Another Head-Scratching Trade Coming Up

Maybe in an effort to diffuse the negative publicity of their reported reacquisition of Coca-Cola bottling company, SMC is rumoured to be offering Rabah Al-Hussaini, the college star who helped Ateneo win two of its four consecutive UAAP championships and the PBA rookie of the year last season, to Shopinas.com in exchange for a No. 1 pick in this year's PBA rookie draft.

Major dailies published a report implying that talks are currently under way for the 23-year-old, 6-foot-7 center to join the league's newest team which will carry the name Air21 starting in the Commissioner's Cup which opens 10 February 2012.

An update implied that Air21 is holding back for now,but if the trade happens, it was supposed to boost each team's future endeavours, especially for Air21, which lost all of its 14 games in the just-concluded All-Filipino conference. However, many doubt any changes in their game will happen overnight despite the trade primarily because of their laughable and uncompetitive line-up compared to other roster in the league.

The trade could be another one of the hundred lopsided deals entered into by the two major power brokers in the PBA (SMC and MVP groups) since Petron is not using Al-Hussaini anyway. Taking Al Hussaini will also be a little risky for the team since the Fil-Kuwaiti has missed the crucial stages of the last year’s third conference finals after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Instead of entering into this head-scratching trade, Air21 might be better off waiting for the next draft picks which has a mouth-watering array of college standouts that may include Ateneo's 7-footer Greg Slaughter, University of Cebu's 6-foot-10 Junmar Fajardo and Far Eastern University’s 6-foot-7 Aldrech Ramos.

Air21 has also acquired more experienced players by trading for the services of Mark Isip and Nelbert Omolon of Meralco Bolts in exchange for Dennis Daa, Mark Canlas and a 2012 first round pick, which originally belongs to the Bolts in a previous trade with the team.

The team also reached an agreement with Marcus Douthit, a naturalized Filipino who played for the national team in the previous FIBA-Asia Championship.

"There's already an agreement," said Pumaren after the team's practice at the Green Meadows subdivision gym. "That's what the management told us, but he’ll be joining us at least second week (of the tournament) since he's still playing in China."

"Marcus can really help us, because we can rely on somebody down the stretch. That's what we lacked during the Philippine Cup. We don’t have that go-to-guy," Pumaren said.

Curiously, or maybe shall we say to prove that PBA trades are ludicrous to favour richer teams, Air21 was also the team that drafted Rabeh in 2010 before he was shipped to Petron – together with fellow newcomers Noy Baclao and Rey Guevarra – in a age-defying deal.

No comments:

Post a Comment