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PBA: More trades seen in Seoul meeting

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In the aftermath of a reported trade that didn’t see the light of day and another that did, more wheeling and dealing and backdoor negotiations could come to fruition when the PBA Board of Governors leaves for Seoul, South Korea today for its traditional planning session.

Leading the yearly trek to outline the league’s plans and forecasts is incoming chairman Rep. Mikee Romero, team owner of the Globalport Batang Pier, who will be succeeding San Miguel Beer’s Robert Non.

Romero won a seat in the House of Representatives during the May national elections under the 1-Pacman banner and has been in the forefront of an aggressive move aimed at an expanded grassroots development program in sports.

During the PBA Press Corps Awards at the Gatewall Mall in Cubao recently, Romero spoke of his vision to bring the PBA back into the public consciousness as part of daily life.

“We want to make the PBA a habit once again among Filipinos,” he said, vowing to push for measures within the PBA board that are geared toward the realization of his programs.

Expected to join the Seoul sojourn are Blackwater’s Silliman Sy, Mahindra’s Tom Alvarez, TNT KaTropa’s Patrick Gregorio, SMB’s Robert Non, Star’s Rene Pardo, Meralco’s Al Panlilio, Alaska’s Dickie Bachmann, Rain or Shine’s Mert Mondragon, Ginebra San Miguel’s Alfrancis Chua, Phoenix’s Raymond Zorilla, Globalport’s Erick Arejola, and NLEX’s Ronald Dulatre.

PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa will be representing the Commissioner’s Office, along with deputy commissioner Rickie Santos and media bureau chief Willie Marcial.

Panlilio, newly-elected president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, is likely to make use of the gathering to secure solid commitment from the PBA regarding its involvement in the formation of the national team, especially with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) amending its calendar to include home-and-away games that run smack with the pro league’s own schedule.

Trade papers involving Star’s Alex Mallari and Mahindra’s Aldrech Ramos are on Narvasa’s table, meanwhile, and could gain approval there pending a thorough review.

While that proposal looks like a done deal, the one that would have sent Santo Tomas U forward Kevin Ferrer to Star and Arellano U point guard Jio Jalalon to Barangay Ginebra never got off the ground after officials from both teams denied any such trade was in the works.

Ferrer, as agreed upon by the PBA board after a lengthy meeting days before the PBA Rookie Draft Sunday at Robinson’s Place in Ermita on how best to distribute the incoming neophytes from the Gilas Cadet pool, was then picked up by Ginebra, while Jalalon went to backcourt-heavy Star as preset, a move that precipitated the Mallari-Ramos trade.

Sources said more trades will be hatched within the next few days.

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