By JONAS TERRADO
The resumption of full practices and scrimmages this week also marked new beginnings for some players who switched teams prior to the implementation of stricter quarantine guidelines in late-March.
Magnolia’s Calvin Abueva, NorthPort’s Greg Slaughter, Phoenix Super LPG’s Vic Manuel, and Blackwater’s Baser Amer were among those who finally got a chance to further familiarize themselves with new teammates during their practices in Batangas City.
Abueva was traded from Phoenix, which later used one of the pieces it got which was a draft pick to complete the acquisition of Manuel from Alaska.
Slaughter, meanwhile, joined NorthPort from Barangay Ginebra San Miguel weeks before group workouts of all PBA teams were put to a halt with the re-imposition of Enhanced Community Quarantine regulations in NCR Plus.
Amer will prepare for his role as Blackwater’s newest playmaker after being dealt from Meralco for Mac Belo.
Belo also got to enjoy full training sessions with Meralco, which opted to hold a 10-day training camp in Laoag, Ilocos Norte which began last Sunday.
Ginebra’s MJ Ayaay and Blackwater’s Kelly Nabong, players signed from the free agent pool, also trained with their new squads so are rookies James Laput of Terrafirma, Jerrick Ahanmisi of Magnolia and Alaska’s Taylor Browne.
Another notable sighting was TNT’s Jayson Castro, who underwent surgery earlier this week to remove bone spurs on his left knee. The injury prompted Castro to miss the latter part of last season’s Philippine Cup Finals loss to Ginebra.
TNT is also in Laoag for their own training camp which ends on May 31. Kelly Williams, who mended ties with Tropang Giga management after retiring in September, is also part of the team in their sojourn up north.
Full practices and scrimmages are being held outside of NCR Plus in a bid to hopefully start the 46th season on June 25 at the earliest.
NLEX was the only team to train other than Batangas City or Laoag as it opted to practice in Clark, Pampanga.