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Post-Lee signing: Alas traded to TNT

Kevin Alas

With mainstay point guard Paul Lee back in the lineup, Rain or Shine has finally pulled the trigger and unloaded rookie guard Kevin Alas but kept its future safe with a pick in the next PBA Rookie Draft.

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao yesterday confirmed the trade as the Elasto Painters obtained the 2015 first round pick of newcomer North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) while Alas will go to Talk ’N Text.

Guiao did not elaborate on the details of the trade although he expressed satisfaction despite losing Alas, the No. 2 overall selection of ROS in the previous draft.

“From the very beginning Alas is our insurance in case Paul is not signed. It’s not actually a secret that we got him because of the situation we had,” said Guiao when contacted yesterday by TEMPO.

“But with Paul back in the lineup, we have a lot of guards on our team. The MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan) group has shown a lot of interest on Kevin so we negotiated with them. It’s a done deal,” Guiao added.

Another reason why Guiao opted to let go of Alas is the feeling the former Letran Knight will have more playing time with another team compared to Rain or Shine.

Alas, according to Guiao, will have to fight for playing minutes with Lee, as well as other veteran guards of Rain or Shine, including Chris Tiu, Ryan Araña, TY Tang and Gabe Norwood.

“Personally I think, this is the best career move for Kevin,” said Guiao.

“I’ve talked to him already, and told him that here he will play behind the veterans… kumbaga pang-apat or pang-lima ka sa pila because we have a lot of guards. Now kung mapunta siya sa ibang team, siya na yung next generation player.”

“Mas mabibigyan sya ng playing time to shine. Kung wala si Paul sa amin ok lang yun, he will get his playing time; he will get his opportunity. Pero now na balik na sa amin si Paul, mahihirapan siya mag-shine,” said Guiao.

As for the future, Guiao feels that the 2015 draft will be loaded with talented players. This early, some of the prospects include De La Salle’s Arnold Van Opstal, Ateneo’s Chris Newsome and former National University standout Ray Parks Jr.

“Ngayon pa lang naghahanda na kami,” said Guiao, who added that rookie playmaker Jericho Cruz – a second round pick of ROS in the last draft – will be part of the roster for the coming PBA 40th season.

While the ROS mentor was mum on the details of the trade, a source bared how the wheeling-and-dealing materialized.

The first step of the trade involved Rain or Shine dealing Alas to Talk ’N Text for veteran forward Rommel “KG” Canaleta, and the second step ended with NLEX and ROS swapping Canaleta for that 2015 first round pick.

The same source also said that ROS is also shipping veteran forward Larry Rodriguez, left unprotected during the PBA expansion draft, to TNT for a second round pick in 2018.

NLEX, together with Globalport, were actually busy retooling their respective rosters after negotiating separate deals Monday night. The trade papers were all forwarded to the PBA Commissioner’s Office.

The three-team trade involved Globalport, NLEX and TNT, with the Batang Pier initially dealing Jay Washington to the Tropang Texters for Nonoy Baclao, rookie Harold Arboleda and a 2018 second round pick.