Saturday, January 22, 2011

PBA Blockbuster: Sol to Meralco, Jay-R to Air21, Ronjay to Rain or Shine

With San Miguel Beer and Talk 'N Text enjoying at least a week-long vacation prior to their much-awaited best-of-seven finals showdown in the PBA Philippine Cup, three teams worked out a multi-player trade deal Thursday night.

Rain or Shine's blue-chip players Sol Mercado and Jay-R Reyes were shipped to Meralco and Air21 respectively in one of the biggest trades that happened this conference.

Highly-placed sources privy to the matter told GMANews.TV that the deal has been agreed upon by the three teams.

The Elasto Painters will get Ronjay Buenafe and Ronnie Matias from Air21, and Beau Belga from Meralco. Also included in the package are two future first-round picks of the Express, Paolo Bugia from Rain or Shine, Eric Rodriguez from Air21, and Reed Juntilla from Meralco.

"Rain or Shine will get the 2011 and 2013 first-round picks of Air21. The Express will also get Reed Juntilla from the deal," said a source, who requested anonymity.

"Sol and Mac-Mac in one team? Tha'’s a powerful combination," said another source.

Rain or Shine's big moves come on the heels of the hiring of multi-tiled mentor Yeng Guiao as its new coach.

Curiously, Guiao and Mercado had a verbal altercation when the veteran mentor was still handling the Express.

Observers had openly wondered how the two firebrand personalities could co-exist.

Mercado's team-up with Gabe Norwood, Rain or Shine’s high-flying guard/forward, had offered one of the most entertaining duos to watch in the country’s premier pro league.

A source from Rain or Shine believes the breakup of the partnership won't affect the game of the former George Mason University standout, who is now regarded as the only marquee player in the Elasto Painters' camp.

Mercado, together with Bugia and Rodriguez, will go to the Bolts.

But the more anticipated tandem in the Bolts' camp will be the team-up of Mercado and Mac-Mac Cardona, two high-scoring guards who are also go-to guys. Whether the two can co-exist remains to be seen. - KY, GMANews.TV

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