13 July 2016

Meralco Acquires Uyloan for Ronjay Buenafe

Jonathan Uyloan
Meralco Bolts just traded experience and firepower for youth and promise when they let Ronjay Buenafe transfer to Phoenix Petroleum for point-guard Jonathan Uyloan.

"We needed an additional weapon with JC (Intal) still injured," Fuel Masters coach Ariel Vanguardia said to Spin.ph. "We also needed to unload some of our point guards because we had five."

What did the Bolts really get from this transaction? Do they need another pointguard when they already have veteran Jimmy Alapag, rookie Baser Amer and defense specialist Anjo Caram? Jared Dillinger can also play point when the need arises.

The move only make sense if the Bolts are preparing for the eventual retirement of Alapag and make him part of the coaching staff. Alapag's numbers
are declining over the years and he has a few conferences left to help existing Meralco guards develop their skills further. It won't surprise many if the 13-year veteran elects to declare his second retirement in three years.

Meanwhile, Buenafe only averaged 1.71 points in seven games for the Bolts last conference. The 33-year old forward could have a resurgence at Phoenix as he joins a young rotation featuring promising rookies Mark Cruz and Simon Enciso as well as veterans Chico Lanete and Josh Urbiztondo.

Uyloan, on the other hand, never played a game for Phoenix which had acquired him from GlobalPort last May in a three-team transaction. The 6-year veteran guard averaged 6.11 points, 1.44 assists and 1.33 steals in nine games with the Batang Pier last Commissioner’s Cup.

The 6-foot-1 guard from Goldenwest College spent his best years with the Rain or Shine Elastopainters after he was left undrafted during the 2009 Draft. He had a decent career average from the three-point area at 32.7 percent, but he needs to improve his play-making skills after he average only 1.6 assists in his 6-year PBA stint.

The question now is, is Uyloan considered a Filipino-American? If he is, is the Meralco Bolts breaking the 5 Fil-Am rule since they already have Dillinger, Alapag, Chris Newsome, Cliff Hodge and Kelly Nabong.

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