By WAYLON GALVEZ
Manila, Philippines – A day after naming a new coach, San Miguel Beer was busy again yesterday, this time tweaking its roster with several trade proposals.
Back carrying the name of San Miguel Beer in the pro league, the team initiated several deals that include a trade proposal between two of the best playmakers in the PBA, moving long time point guard Alex Cabagnot to Globalport in exchange for Sol Mercado.
Globalport agreed to the deal in hopes that the 31-year-old Cabagnot, now on his 14th season in the PBA, would play a crucial role in the development of the team’s young guards RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo.
“Alex will be one of our leaders,” said Globalport team manager BJ Manalo.
“He can be a mentor to our young players, we know Alex he’s a veteran and he’s experienced player. He also played with coach Pido Jarencio when they we’re with Petron. So he knows how coach Pido works, at least andun na ‘yung relationship,” added Manalo.
The trade proposal ware submitted yesterday to PBA Commissioner Chito Salud for approval.
If approved, Cabagnot will be playing for his third team in the PBA after suiting up with Sta. Lucia Realty, Coca-Cola and Petron Blaze. Throughout his career, Cabagnot has earned a reputation as one of the best point guards in the league and also one of the top closers when the game is on the line.
The 6-foot-1 Cabagnot will also be reunited with former SMB/ Petron teammate Anthony Jay Washington. As for Mercado, the 6-foot-1 guard will join his fourth team.
After he was originally selected by Alaska as the No. 5 overall pick back in 2008, Mercado was dealt immediately to Rain or Shine where he played three seasons. He was traded to Meralco in 2010, and then was shipped by the Bolts to the Batang Pier mid of last year.
Aside from that, the Beermen also have proposed deals that will have veteran forward Rico Maierhofer from Barako Bull, which will get Jason Deutchmann plus a second round pick in 2016 in a revised deal.
The original deal was for the 6-foot-6 Maierhofer going to San Miguel for Yousef Taha plus the team’s 2016 second round rookie pick. After that, Barako Bull will deal Taha to his former team Globalport for Chua, who was then traded by the Energy Cola to the Beermen for Jason Deutchmann.
However, Globalport cannot have Taha back due to the PBA requirement that disallow teams to obtain a player it traded after just one conference since the allowed period is two conferences.
A SMB source said negotiations to get Chua for Taha would resume after the Commissioner’s Cup.
In a separate deal, Barako Bull traded guard Jonas Villanueva to Globalport for forward Leo Najorda. The Batang Pier then shipped Villanueva to Air21 for guard Bonbon Custodio.
Last Monday, San Miguel elevated assistant coach Biboy Ravanes as head coach, replacing Gee Abanilla, who was assigned as the Boosters’ team manager. Ravanes played 15 seasons in the PBA including stints with Shell, Alaska and San Miguel, before joining the team’s coaching staff.
The SMB management pulled the trigger on the coaching change after Petron suffered a humiliating setback, losing to Rain or Shine, 4-1, in their semifinal series almost two weeks ago.