Six teams firming up trade deal on stars

By Nelson Beltran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 31 2013 09:12 AM | Updated as of Jan 31 2013 09:06 PM

SINGAPORE – Member ball clubs of the Philippine Basketball Association are putting the finishing touches on a mega-trade deal involving six teams and the movement of the league’s superstars in what is considered the biggest trade transaction since 1975.

The talks are being hatched on the sidelines of the PBA board meeting here yesterday.

The six teams making the round table talks are Talk n Text, Meralco, Globalport, Petron Blaze, Barangay Ginebra and Air21. The player movements will include Jay Washington, Kerby Raymundo, Japeth Aguilar, Sol Mercado, Ronjay Buenafe and Rabeh Al-Hussaini among others.

The round table talks are basically a theoretical presentation by each team of what players it is willing to put on the trading block and see what other teams could offer.

If ever, Globalport would be the biggest beneficiary as the Batang Pier may well land Washington and Mercado.

Talk n Text is out to get rid of its problem with Aguilar, Meralco is looking to boost its frontcourt while Petron, Ginebra and Air21 all hope to make their lineups more balanced and more competitive.

They may close the complicated deal before returning to Manila or a little over a week before the opening of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Feb. 8 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Texters are ready to give up their signing rights on Aguilar, the 2010 top draft pick, for Al-Hussaini who was the 2011 second choice.

Once Globalport gets Aguilar, the plan is to bring him over to Barangay Ginebra for Raymundo who would then be sent over to Meralco for Mercado and rookie Kelly Nabong.

"If we get Rabeh for Japeth, we're okay," said Talk N Text's Patrick Gregorio.

"Globalport would be a contender overnight should the deal push through," observed Air’21 Lito Alvarez.

Other names being mentioned in the complex deal are Jason Ballesteros, John Wilson, Vic Manuel, Aaron Aban and Josh Vanlandingham.

This transaction could easily top the five-way trade deal involving eight players entered into by Petron, San Mig Coffee, Barako Bull, Ginebra and Alaska Milk over a week ago.

The Boosters acquired Barako Bull top gun Ronald Tubid while giving away Jojo Duncil and Fil-Am rookie Alex Mallari. Afterwards, the Energy Cola brought Mallari, veteran forward Leo Najorda, another freshman Lester Alvarez plus a future draft pick over to the San Mig Coffee Mixers in exchange for JC Intal, Jonas Villanueva and Aldrech Ramos.

To wrap up the deal, Ramos joined the Aces, Alein Maliksi moved over to the Energy Cola camp and Mac Baracael transferred to the Kings’ fold.