The blockbuster deal between Terrafirma and San Miguel Beer that looked inevitable since the former announced its decision to trade prized shooting guard CJ Perez last Friday finally got the go-signal from the PBA yesterday.
However, the Beermen gave away their 2022 first round pick in addition to the package the league’s most successful team earlier tendered to earn the nod of the trade committee.
In gaining the versatile playmaker from the Dyip, the Beermen in return gave up bench players Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Russel Escoto, and Gelo Alolino, plus their first-round pick in the 2020 PBA Rookie Draft.
“Masasabi ko lang, I support the trade committee (on its decision),” said PBA commissioner Willier Marcial when asked to describe the deal.
Perez, the 2019 Rookie of the Year and First Mythical Team winner, will thus join the league’s most decorated franchise already formidable on both ends with the presence of six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, Von Pessumal, and Terrence Romeo.
SMB coach Leo Austria and his Terrafirma counterpart John Edel Cardel can’t be reached yesterday for comment on the trade, although the former had earlier said the trade is beneficial to both teams.
Perez, however, will be able to join the Beermen as soon as he returns from Calamba, Laguna where he is with the Gilas Pilipinas training in bubble at the Inspire Sports Academyin preparation for the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers.
Terrafirma will be the third team for Ganuelas-Rosser, who also had brief stint with Talk ‘N Text before landing in SMB.
Interestingly, Escoto returns to the very team that selected him in the first special draft in 2016. He played for three years with the Terrafirma before being dealt to NorthPort and later to San Miguel.
Alolino will likewise play for his third team in three seasons after spending a brief time with Blackwater in 2019.
In another development, Meralco is set to part ways with Baser Amer, whom it is sending to Blackwater in exchange for Mac Belo.
The commissioner’s office has yet to act on the one-for-one trade proposal.
Amer has spent all of his six years in the league with the Bolts, who selected him seventh overall during the 2015 Draft.
Amer saw action for three times in the league’s annual All-Star. He played 18 games for Meralco in the bubble where he averaged 9.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game.
The last two seasons saw Blackwater play without a reliable court general, and the acquisition of the 27-year-old Amer will hopefully solve the Elite’s problem.
Belo, on the other hand, was the top overall pick during the 2016 PBA Gilas draft. The 6’4” forward is also a three-time all-star.