Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ginebra sweetens pot in bid to acquire Casio

ACQUIRING Jayvee Casio would help Ginebra resolve another gnawing issue. That is, if Global Port bites the Kings’ latest offer.

A usually reliable Business Insight-Malaya source yesterday claimed Ginebra has spruced up its offer and is now dangling playmaker Mike Cortez and slotman Enrico Villanueva for the heady playmaker.

The proposal, added the insider, was presented to no less than Batang Pier owner Mikee Romero in a meeting last Tuesday but there was still no word whether the latter was amenable.

The Kings earlier offered Cortez and forward Willy Wilson for Casio, but Romero turned it down, purportedly wanting a real big man thrown in on the deal.

“Pursigido talaga ang Ginebra na matuloy ang trade kaya sa halip na si Wilson si Villanueva na ang isinasama,” said the source.

Unloading the California-born Cortez would ease Ginebra’s concerns about their glut of Fil-Am players.

Aside from Cortez, the Kings also boast Fil-Ams in Eric Menk, Rudy Hatfield and Wilson, aside from first round draft picks Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen.

Each team is only allowed five Fil-foreign players in their active roster.

“Malaking question nga iyan dahil hindi pa malaman kung sino ang ilalagay sa active at kung sino ang ibababa sa reserve,” noted the insider.

“Kaya depende lahat ‘yan sa kung ano ang kalalabasan ng proposed trade with Global Port. Worst case scenario, bababa ang isa. ”

Meralco, which tabbed Cliff Hodge and Kelly Nabong in the recent draft, is also beset with the same dilemma as it gears up for the PBA’s 38th season kicking off on Sept. 30.

Bolts coach Ryan Gregorio, however, said choosing who to drop from among Asi Taulava, Chris Ross, Sol Mercado, Chris Timberlake and his two draft picks is only a minor problem.

“We may have to relegate Timberlake,” said Gregorio. 

Ronjay Buenafe’s entry helps solve the question for Gregorio since the former can also play the guard spot. Buenafe formally became a Bolt yesterday when Commissioner Chito Salud approved the deal Meralco forged with Rain or Shine last Tuesday.

According to the trade terms, Rain or Shine, in return, got Meralco’s 2014 first round pick.

Source: Noli Cortez, Business Insight Malaya

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