By WAYLON GALVEZ
Rain or Shine yesterday granted the wish of Jericho Cruz as the Elasto Painters dealt the disgruntled combo guard to TNT KaTropa for rookie Sidney Onwubere plus TNT’s first round pick in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.
The two teams, according to RoS mentor Caloy Garcia, have agreed in principles that the trade papers will be signed by TNT team manager Virgil Villavicencio and Rain or Shine governor Mamerto Mondragon.
The trade proposal will be forwarded to Commissioner Willie Marcial for approval.
Cruz, a fourth year pro, has been vocal in his desire to be traded despite signing a three-year deal the team gave him last season.
Cruz – a product of Adamson University – was RoS’s 9th overall pick during the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft.
Under then coach Yeng Guiao, he blossomed into one of the top combo guards in the league.
When ace guard Paul Lee was shipped to Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok prior to last season, Cruz took advantage to become one of the important players of Garcia, who took over the coaching post of RoS as Guiao opted to sign with NLEX.
Cruz’s request was actually to be reunited with Guiao at NLEX, but talks between the Road Warriors and Elasto Painters did not materialize. A source said that prior to the TNT-RoS deal there was an initial plan of a three-team trade with Rain or Shine acting as conduit for the 6-foot-1 Cruz to go to TNT before moving to NLEX.
Rain or Shine management turned down the plan, and instead approves the TNT-RoS trade.