After Terrafirma Dyip was bashed for trading yet another marquee player, CJ Perez, to San Miguel Beer, Rain or Shine dismissed rumors of plans to trade main man Beau Belga.
No less than team owner Raymond Yu confirmed the news to Manila Standard in a telephone interview.
“That’s not true,” Yu said. “No one has approached us and no one has made an offer. So how can we say there’s a trade offer?”
Yu made it clear that the team has no plans of trading Belga even as speculations grew when the Elasto Painters acquired the services of Bradwyn Guinto in a three-player trade with NorthPort Batang Pier.
Once considered as a solid force in rebounding and defense, the 6-foot-6 Guinto was picked up by the Elasto Painters in a trade with forward Sydney Onwubere and guard Clint Doliguez.
For Yu, the acquisition of Guinto doesn’t mean they’re displacing another player and that includes Belga, whom he believes will play a big role in helping the young player in fast-tracking his involvement with the team’s system.
“What’s the good thing about Guinto’s acquisition is that Belga can now play the power forward spot. Besides, Beau is one of the stretch four players in the PBA, so we can utilize him more,” added Yu. “Guinto was highly recommended by our assistant coach Chris Gavina, his former coach in Kia, where he had a solid season.”
But Yu sees the most valuable contribution Guinto could bring to the squad.
“We know that big players like June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter will be coming back next season, so we really needed a player like Guinto, who can match up with these big centers,” added Yu.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo, the reigning six-time PBA Most Valuable Player, was not able to join the recent “bubble” tournament as he was sidelined by a leg injury while the seven-foot Slaughter failed to join his team, newly-crowned champion Barangay Ginebra, as he was not included in the roster.
Now a free agent, but his playing rights still belongs to Ginebra, Slaughter is currently negotiating with the Gin Kings management on his new contract.