31 July 2015

Will Blackwater Suprise Anybody in the Draft?

Blackwater Elite
In the coming 2015 PBA Draft, Blackwater Elite will pick 9th in the first round, courtesy of the lopsided trade they had with Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters last year. They will also pick first in the second round or 13th overall.

But the question is: will the Elite make any substantial improvement or try to break the record for the most number of losses by any PBA team in two consecutive seasons?

Based on their first year performance and their seeming lack of urgency to get into the win column, it is safe to assume that they will tank again and pick, trade and drop players in the most unreasonable, non-comprehensible and unforgiving manner. They will handle players that will defy logic and throw any sense of propriety out of the window.

To summarize their most lopsided deal so far, Blackwater gave up its very valuable 1st round pick in 2015 for Larry Rodriguez and Talk 'N Text's 1st round pick. Again, Larry is a player that they obviously don’t want in their team. As for the pick, given TNT’s roster this year and previous records, it will surely be anywhere from 9th-12th.

Blackwater releases Larry Rodriguez – no surprises here, they only used this player to give Tropang Texters what it wants, poor Rodriguez. So in essence, the trade deal in number went from bad to worst. Blackwater just exchanged its 1st pick in 2015 with that of TNT’s! Who in their right mind would exchange a potential top 1 pick for something at the bottom of the pack?

As for their current players, no offense to the newly signed players, but majority of them were not major contributors of their previous teams. How can the Elites not tap proven veteran players like Jojo Duncil, Bonbon Custodio, Pari Llgas, Willie Miller, Roger Yap is something straight out of cuckoo land. Was their move made to ensure that they continue to drop their games and put them in a better position for the top pick? Only Blackwater knows, and so does TNT presumably.

Blackwater’s acquisition of Rodriguez does not make any sense at all. But, it does make perfect sense for Talk ‘N Text as the 2015 draft is perceived to be one on the most talented and deepest draft class in recent years. Surely, Blackwater management is aware of that fact, and yet they did not hesitate to part with their 1st round pick. This pick could’ve helped them big time, whether it’d be Bobby Ray Parks, Troy Rosario or Moala Tautuaa – any of these players could turn their franchise around in a heartbeat!

Worse, they just released one of their reliable scorers and the league top assist man, Brian Heruela, for Barako Energy Drink's Carlo Lastimosa. Heruela averaged 10.58 points, 5.23 rebounds and 4.88 assists per game for the lowly Elite who failed to advance to the playoffs in all three conferences. Meanwhile, Lastimosa averaged 6.91 points, 1.09 rebounds and 0.62 assists while only playing 12.19 minutes per game.

Bottomline is, the moves made by Blackwater are nonsensical aside from being very glaring. You don’t have to be a Quinito Henson or an Andy Jao to see the real motive behind these shady deals. Blackwater’s roster is nothing close to that of Talk ‘N Text’s, and yet come next year the Texters will become much stronger, no thanks to the very generous expansion team.

And Blackwater? Still languishing at the bottom of the standings, most probably, as they just blew their chance to land a blue-chip player. Could they be going for a shot at the PBA record books, the longest losing streak ever? Or most number of conferences without a win? Well, whatever their plan is, it surely doesn’t include building a winning franchise. The 2015 draft could've been the silver lining to their first losing season, but they just 'sold' their first ticket out of the PBA’s doldrums.

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