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PBA: Rico to Global?

Justin Chua of Ateneo prevents Alex Nuyles of Adamson from going straight to the hoop in their UAAP game that the Falcons won, 62-46, last Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Colisuem. Adamson’s win thwarted Ateneo’s bid for an outright finals berth. (KJ Rosales)

Manila, Philippines – If plans push through, the busiest teams during the Draft will be involved again in the first trade of the ongoing PBA season.

Globalport is reportedly in talks with Petron and Barako Bull for a three-team trade that may involve rookie center Justin Chua as they intend to bolster their frontline rotations in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup.

While Chua was in uniform, he did not see action during the Batang Pier’s 97-87 loss to Petron Blaze last Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Chua, a source said, could end up with Petron, a team in need of young players to add ceiling to its frontline after veteran center Danny Ildefonso was not offered an extension by management when his contract expired last month.

Globalport originally held talks with Talk ‘N Text, another team interested in Chua since TNT coach Norman Black handled him when they were still with Ateneo. The Tropang Texters recently got from Air21 Noy Baclao, another player of Black and teammate of Chua in Ateneo.

Negotiations, however, bogged down.

Another source said Globalport is eyeing Barako Bull’s 6-foot-6 center Rico Maierhofer, who was dealt from Barangay Ginebra along with Willy Wilson for the No. 4 pick in the draft that turned out to be Arellano’s James Forrester.

“Si Rico (Maierhofer) ang gusto talaga ng Globalport, kaya may mga talks na ganyan para makuha siya,” said a source who asked not to be named.

At the moment, Maierhofer is recovering from a knee injury but has joined the Energy Cola’s practice session. Globalport owner Mikee Romero likes Maierhofer as he played for his Harbour Center team in the now-defunct PBL.

If this plan to move Chua to Petron and Maierhofer to Globalport will materialize, sources said the Boosters will give Barako Bull a future pick.