MANILA, Philippines – The Alaska management denied Friday that LA Tenorio’s transfer to Ginebra was sparked by the point guard’s participation in the recently concluded William Jones Cup.
In fact, Alaska said, they lent three of their players to the Smart Gilas Team to show their support for the country’s endeavors in Jones Cup.
“Alaska was the only team to contribute three players to the Nationals which included Sonny Thoss and Mac Baracael in addition to Tenorio,” the team said in a statement.
The team also said it initially turned down offers by other players to trade Tenorio since the 5’8” point guard was an integral part of their squad.
On Friday, the Office of the PBA Commissioner Chito Salud officially announced that Alaska had shipped Tenorio to Ginebra in a 6-player deal.
In exchange, Alaska acquired the services of JV Casio, who came from Global Port and then Ginebra.
"Looking forward, we also see the promise of JV and feel he can bring a lot to Alaska. So we are taking a leap of faith but a calculated one," said Alaska General Manager Joaqui Trillo.
Also traded were Wesley Gonzalez and Hans Thiele for Petron’s veteran Dondon Hontiveros.
"Although approaching the twilight of his career, we believe Dondon still has a great game and will open things up for us with his great shooting and occasional penetration. Plus he is a good defender and has strong leadership skills," Trillo said.
Alaska team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu said the trade was part of his team’s build-up for the coming PBA season.
The multi-titled team has struggled in the 2011-2012 PBA season since its head coach Tim Cone left for B-Meg last year.
Uytengsu said he needs a team of players that will help turn Alaska’s fortunes around.
“We need to focus on our campaign for the upcoming season given our sub-par performance last season, and we need our players to be focused and healthy… We want a team of players who will live by this commitment,” said the Alaska owner.
He added that other PBA clubs should step up in lending their players to Gilas.
Uytengsu said Alaska has been backing up the National team since the mid-90s.
“We wish LA well and thank him for his leadership while he was wearing an Aces jersey. He will be successful wherever he goes,” said the Alaska head honcho.