16 November 2016

Mahindra, Where Are Franklin Bonifacio and Rob Reyes?

Bonifacio and Reyes
The Mahindra franchise is living up to what basketball fans are saying all along since they joined the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA): they are a disgrace and unworthy to be a PBA team.

If drafting erstwhile boxing champion Manny Pacquiao was not enough, they simply released and traded their most valued assets for practically nothing. Worse, the players that they receive in those questionable trade deals were given away again as freebies to other teams.

If this is not the mother of all head-scratching moves, then .... Pffft! Just like that. What started last season as one of the most promising runs for the Columbian AutoCar Corporation-backed teams ended even before the new season started.

Mahindra was on its way to get a combination of young and veteran core of players to start the 2016-2017 season, but out-of-the-blue they gave away their most promising big man, which is a rarity in the league. Bradwyn Guinto may still be rough in the edges but he's a jewel in the rough that would need mentoring to smoothen the curves.

The Floodbusters traded Guinto to the NLEX Road Warriors for a pair of young guns Jeckster Apinan and Renen Celda. To rectify a deal where a center was being vetted for two unknown and untested players, the PBA included big man Rob Reyes in the package.

When the final roster of 15-man team came out, Reyes was nowhere to be found! Reports flew around that says Mahindra wouldn't sign him up because he is just too expensive. This means Reyes becomes a free agent, and may still end up with NLEX again.

In yet another puzzling offseason trade, the three-year franchise shipped rising wingman Paolo Taha in a two-for-one trade with reigning PBA Governors Cup champion Barangay Ginebra.

In exchange for Taha, one of the key players in the Floodbuster's rotation last season, Mahindra got seldon used back-up players Franklin Bonifacio and Denice Villamor. And when the final list came out, Bonifacio was not included. So, Mahindra basically received one bench warmer for Taha's 10.2 pointe, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists last conference.

There is something wrong here. If the PBA is blind to see it, then the travesty will continue to haunt the league. Fortunately, PBA fans can see the problem and will keep this in mind whenever a trade with Mahindra is reported.

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