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PBA: GlobalPort ships Pessumal to SMB for Van Opstal

By: Jerome Lagunzad

In dire need of an inside presence, GlobalPort acquired 6-foot-9 center Arnold Van Opstal from powerhouse San Miguel Beer in exchange for fellow freshman Von Pessumal in a straight swap approved by the pro league office yesterday.

Buried at the end of the bench in the course of the Beermen’s back-to-back title runs this season, the Fil-German Van Opstal could finally get a keenly-awaited break on the Batang Pier side which relies mostly on veterans Billy Mamaril and Mick Pennisi upfront.

“He’s a quality addition to the team since he can give us an added celling. He will also inject youthful zest on the team’s core,” said GlobalPort governor Erick Arejola of the 25-year-old Van Opstal who will also team up with promising big men Bradwyn Guinto and Papot Paredes down low.

Once considered a genuine force in the lane while playing for La Salle which he steered to the UAAP title in 2013, Van Opstal struggled to make his presence felt in the pro ranks so far as he played back-up to reigning three-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo in a loaded SMB frontline.

In fact, Van Opstal has only played 20 minutes in the last two conferences, collecting 11 points and as many rebounds while often checking in when the result is already beyond doubt in favor of the Beermen.

Meanwhile, the 6-foot-2 Pessumal gives the Grand Slam-seeking SMB another floor spacer since the former Ateneo standout is a respectable shooter from beyond the arc.

The 24-year-old Pessumal averaged 5.5 points anchored on 39 percent shooting from the three-point area in just 15 minutes of action for GlobalPort in the last two tourneys.