With eyes on former National University stalwart Troy Rosario, Rain or Shine is willing to trade any of its players to Mehindra (formerly Kia) to obtain the pivotman, a top team official said yesterday.
“We’re open to trades, we talked to them but noting is final at the moment,” Mamerto Mondragon, a former PBA chairman who represents the team to the board, told Tempo.
“We asked them who they want, and then we made a counter-offer. So far, that’s where we are right now,” added Mondragon, who already met with ROS coach Yeng Guiao to discuss plans to improve the team.
Mondragon refused to divulge players on the trading block, although sources said that gunner Jeff Chan, whose contract expires on Aug. 31, is chiefly involved.
Guiao, in the US on a business trip, said in previous interviews that management and coaching staff will have to identify who are the core of the team and who are tradable.
A source, who asked not to be named, said that only two are safe with their spots – point guard Paul Lee and forward Gabe Norwood, both under contract and considered ‘untouchables.’
Aside from Chan, Rain or Shine has four other players with expiring contracts, including center JR Quinahan and forward Jervy Cruz. Other players in the frontline rotation of Guiao are Beau Belga and Raymond Almazan.
A player like the 6-foot-7 Rosario – a unique combination of power and finesse – will surely improve the roster of Guiao, whose team nearly won the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Talk ’N Text owns the No. 1 overall pick and the team is looking at taking 6-foot-8 Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa, who won the PBA D-League MVP plum after playing for the Cebuana Lhuillier Gems.
Mehindra has the second overall selection, but TNT had already expressed its interest and is reportedly willing to deal forward Ranidel de Ocampo to get Rosario.
The 2015 PBA Rookie Draft is scheduled Aug. 23 at the Robinson’s Place in Ermita, Manila.