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SMC teams exchange picks before PBA draft

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by Waylon Galvez

Some rules were apparently not honored by some PBA teams shortly after a special draft for 12 Gilas Cadet players was completed during what a source said was a tumultuous PBA board meeting last Thursday.

When the smoke cleared from the seven-hour meeting, sources said sister teams Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Star reportedly agreed to trade their respective picks.

A source said that Jio Jalalon, reportedly picked by Star, will be sent to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel for Kevin Ferrer. The trade was approved by the board during their meeting last Thursday but not without the proest of some teams, the source said.

The teams will announce its choices in tomorrow’s PBA Rookie Draft at the Robinsons Place in Ermita, Manila.

The transaction made by the San Miguel Corporation franchises is intriguing since league rules prohibit sister teams from direct trades, unless a third party or when a conduit is involved.

Also intriguing was the the violation of an earlier decision which prevents PBA teams from trading the Gilas Cadets for at least two years.

The reported trade came a day after the board announced that Gilas players were selected in a pre-determined order although tomorrow’s process will be announced via alphabetical order.

Should he indeed end up playing for Ginebra, Jalalon would fulfill his wish of playing under coach Tim Cone and former NCAA rival Scottie Thompson.

The only one who could not be traded is Mac Belo, the 6-foot-4 forward from Far Eastern University in the UAAP and Phoenix of the PBA D-League. He was reportedly picked by Blackwater after the conclusion of the board meeting the other day.

Matthew Wright is set to go to Phoenix under Ariel Vanguardia, his coach when he helped the Westports Malaysia Dragons win the ASEAN Basketball League title. Russell Escoto is heading to Mahindra, Arnold Van Opstal to San Miguel Beer, Ed Daquioag to NLEX, Mike Tolomia to Rain or Shine and Roger Pogoy to Meralco.

Three teams have yet to announce their respective picks from Gilas, namely TNT Katropa, Globalport and Alaska, while the remaining choices are Carl Bryan Cruz, Alfonso Gotladera and Von Pessumal.

The special draft for Gilas was created by the SBP and the PBA in order for the national team players to play in the pro league.

Under the agreement, the players will be pulled from their mother teams as soon as the Gilas training camp under coach Chot Reyes begins.

Each of the 12 PBA teams will also allow one regular player from its roster that will eventually be named by Reyes to the national team pool to participate in the preparation for international competitions.

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