MANILA, Philippines -- Disappointed, but not surprised. This was Troy Rosario's reaction to being part of a three-team trade that ended his seven-year stint with the TNT Tropang GIGA.
Rosario and sharpshooter Gab Banal were sent by TNT to Blackwater in exchange for Calvin Oftana and Raul Soyud, who had been earlier acquired by the Bossing in a separate deal with the NLEX Road Warriors.
When the trade was formalized on Monday, Rosario said it didn't surprise him. He had been expecting it since the Finals of the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup, where TNT fell to the San Miguel Beermen in seven games.
"Hindi na rin bago sakin kasi ever since naman, naramdaman ko na yung malagay sa trading block," he told reporters on Wednesday, after Blackwater's 133-87 loss to the Bay Area Dragons in the PBA Commissioner's' Cup.
"Ayun, nangyari na. Before the trade, before finals, narinig ko na eh, may mga rumors narinig ko na ako yung ite-trade, kaya 'di na bago sakin," he added. "Nung lumabas yung trade, ayun lumabas na nga."
This doesn't mean that Rosario readily accepted the development. He admits that he was disappointed in himself after getting traded.
"Siyempre, nung una parang di ako makapaniwala eh. Pero na-disappoint ako sa sarili ko," he said. "Parang 'yung pagkaka-trade sakin, ang dating sakin parang na-fail ko yung sarili ko, failure para sakin."
Rosario will be in an unfamiliar situation in Blackwater. TNT is a powerhouse in the PBA, a perennial contender that came one game short of winning back-to-back All-Filipino crowns. The same cannot be said of a Blackwater team that has so far struggled to make headway in the league.
In their first game of the Commissioner's Cup, they absorbed a 46-point beating from the Dragons, a Hong Kong-based guest team.
"Ano ako, professional. Kailangan kong mag-adjust nang mabilis. Wala yun sa culture na laging nasa playoffs yung TNT tapos yung Blackwater, wala," said Rosario. "Mindset ko lang lagi rito ay basta mag-step ako sa floor, practice man yan o game, ibibigay ko yung best ko."
Rosario did not play against Bay Area, having practiced just once with the Bossing. Though not injured, he is still day to day as he is recovering from a long run in the All-Filipino Conference, while also busy taking care of his newborn son.
Their baby, Zach Azriel, only came home last week after 23 days in a hospital. Rosario revealed that even during the All-Filipino Finals, he would spend his evenings in the hospital to be with his wife and son.
Amidst the challenges in both his professional and personal life, Rosario says he will be ready to contribute to Blackwater once he makes his debut. He feels he will be ready to step on the floor in their next game, set for Saturday against Phoenix Super LPG.
"'Yung experience," Rosario said of what he can bring to Blackwater. "Kasi yung mga experience ko sa TNT at sa Gilas, medyo matagal-tagal na rin ako naglalaro."
"Kung ano yung mga natutunan ko sa team, sana madala ko rito para yung mga bago, yung mga bata, mai-ano ko na sa kanila yung mga natutunan ko mula kay kuya Jayson [Castro], Kelly [Williams], Ryan [Reyes]."