Season 44: PBA Trades and Transactions
NLEX's Desiderio, Tratter set to be shipped to Blackwater for ErramPublished December 16, 2018 10:31pm
Just hours after being drafted, NLEX Road Warriors' first-round picks Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter were to be sent to Blackwater in exchange for big man JP Erram.
In a statement posted on their social media accounts on Sunday night, the Road Warriors said the decision to trade their two recently drafted rookies did "not reflect on Paul and Abu’s talent or potential."
"Paul and Abu are exceptional young men and any team would be happy to have them," NLEX said in a statement.
However, NLEX said that discussions with Blackwater over acquiring Erram had begun during the Asian Games, when NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao handled the former Ateneo big man.
"After the draft, Coach Yeng Guiao, team management, and NLEX Corporation executives took our newly drafted players to dinner to discuss their future with the team. As far back as the Asian Games, the Blackwater Elite have been discussing a trade with us involving Poy Erram, a much-needed big man who impressed Coach Yeng during his stint with the national team," NLEX said.
NLEX also said the agreement was made the morning prior to the draft, and Blackwater agreed that the move would be mutually beneficial.
In the statement, Guiao explained, “If the trade does not happen, we would have two great players to join us. And if it does push through, then we will battle each other. But either way, we are happy for you because you are assured of having a team in the PBA,"
"We want you to hear it straight from us: this doesn't reflect on Paul and Abu's talent. They have exciting careers ahead; if the trade is disapproved, we'd be more than happy to have them on our team," the Road Warriors added.
Picking Desiderio as fourth overall pick was a surprise move by NLEX.
Desiderio, known for his "Atin 'To" mantra, was part of the UP team that reached the UAAP Finals after a 32-year drought.
Tratter, meanwhile, was picked seventh overall in the PBA draft. He is a UAAP champion with the DLSU Green Archers back in 2016, and was a member of the national team who went up against Australia in February 2018.
NLEX's trade proposal would be sent to the PBA office Monday morning for board approval. — DVM, GMA News