PBA: Erram remains in limbo as trade still pending

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2020 12:39 PM | Updated as of Feb 28 2020 02:24 PM

NLEX center Poy Erram. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- Poy Erram struggled to find the words to explain his feelings as his PBA career remains in limbo, with a potential trade to TNT KaTropa still in the works.

The NLEX Road Warriors submitted trade papers to the PBA Office last week, in a deal that would send Erram to the KaTropa. The Blackwater Elite are also involved in the transaction.

As of Thursday afternoon, however, the trade has yet to be approved by the league, keeping all three clubs -- and especially Erram -- hanging.

"May binibigay daw ulit na bagong trade," PBA commissioner Willie Marcia said. "Hindi ko pa nakikita. So malalaman natin in a couple of days kung ano ang decision ng Trade Committee."

"'Pag binigay sa akin ng Trade Committee 'yun, kung okay ang Trade Committee, pirmahan ko na 'yun," he guaranteed.

Eric Castro, the PBA's technical director who is also part of the Trade Committee, could not divulge details but said they want the trade "to be improved, obviously."

With the trade still pending, Erram finds himself in an uncertain position.

He attended the PBA's Media Day on Thursday as part of NLEX, but fielded questions about the potential trade all throughout the afternoon. He had been unable to play for the Road Warriors during their tune-up games in the preseason, but could not practice with the KaTropa, either.

"Hanging nga ako eh," he said, laughing as if to diffuse the tension of the situation. "Wala naman akong magagawa. Ganun talaga. So ganun pa rin, basketball pa rin, trabaho pa rin."

"NLEX pa rin naman ako kasi andun pa naman papers ko eh. Pero 'yun lang, di ako nakakalaro eh. 'Di ako ginagamit ni Coach Yeng (Guiao) eh kasi andun nga ako sa trading block," he added. "So parang, in a way, 'yung kumpyansa ko, bumababa." 

"So malaking bagay din siya for me." 

Erram, who averaged 10.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup, knows he has no choice but to stay patient while the Trade Committee studies the deal. As of the moment, he still trains with the Road Warriors, and is keeping himself ready for whatever happens.

"I wanna be professional," he stressed. "Gusto ko magpakita sa kanila. Gusto ko mag-practice, kasi 'yun nga, ayaw ko rin maging unfair kay Coach Yeng, kasi siya rin 'yung kumuha sa akin. Kaya rin tumaas 'yung laro ko, kaya rin nag-improve ako, kasi siya rin 'yung kumuha sa akin sa Gilas."

Meanwhile, TNT coach Bong Ravena is keeping his fingers crossed that the committee makes its decision soon. The KaTropa have also been affected by the situation, as they are unsure whether or not they will get a key player ahead of the season.

If the trade is approved, TNT will have just about a week to integrate Erram into their system.

"Hopefully, matapos na, matuloy na," Ravena said. "Hopefully, it will be over soon, para maka-ready na kami, if he'll make it or not. So we can move on."

"Medyo mahirap, hindi mo alam kung magre-ready ka ba for the new guy, or hindi. 'Yung preparations mo medyo bitin eh. So hopefully, 'yun na nga, sana matuloy," he added.

TNT opens its PBA Philippine Cup campaign on March 11 against the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters. On the same day, the NLEX Road Warriors take on the NorthPort Batang Pier, with both games to be held at the Araneta Coliseum.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).