by Waylon Galvez
Manila, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Kerby Raymundo officially parted ways yesterday after a two-year relationship with the veteran forward going to Meralco in exchange for center Jay-R Reyes in a straight up deal.
The 6-foot-6 native of Orion, Bataan has been the subject of trade rumors since two months back but it was only recently that the deal was finalized.
Certainly, Raymundo will have an easy time adjusting to his new home since he will be reunited with Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio, his former mentor when they were still with Purefoods.
The two won three championships together.
“Kerby brings a lot of ‘positives’ in our dynamics. He knows how to win and he still has a lot of good basketball left in his tank,” Gregorio said.
“I am hoping that Kerby, being a veteran, mature and a proven winner, can mentor Rabeh Al-Husseini. I am certain that he would be more than willing to act like a big brother to Rabeh and even Cliff Hodge,” he added.
The trade was approved by PBA Commissioner Chito Salud.
Raymundo, 32, will be joining his fourth team in the PBA after his stints with Red Bull, which originally elevated him as one of the players from its amateur squad (PBL) when the franchise entered the league in 2000. He played college ball for Letran.
Raymundo has career averages of almost 13 points and eight rebounds per game, although he saw limited action the past two conferences due to shoulder and knee injuries. He was dealt to Ginebra from B-Meg in a three-way trade last season.
As for Reyes, Ginebra will be his fifth team after stints with Welcoat/Rain or Shine, Air21 and Alaska, which traded him to Meralco late last season. A seven-year veteran, Reyes has career averages of nine points and seven rebounds.
This is the third time that Meralco was involved in a trade this conference as the Bolts intend to firm up their roster.
Two weeks ago, the Bolts obtained Rabah Al-Hussaini in a three-team trade. Several days later, Meralco got Gilas Pilipinas gunner Gary David and AJ Mandani from Globalport in exchange for Chris Ross, Chris Timberlake, plus the team’s second round picks in 2016 and 2017.