By JONAS TERRADO
Phoenix Super LPG traded “reformed” superstar Calvin Abueva to Magnolia in a stunning trade announced by the PBA Wednesday morning.
In a deal approved by the league office the other day, the Fuel Masters are sending Abueva and the 10th pick in this year’s PBA Draft to the Hotshots in exchange for Chris Banchero and the sixth and 18th overall selections in the March 14 proceedings.
The Fuel Masters made the bold move despite rewarding Abueva with a three-year contract following a stellar return from a 16-month suspension with a renewed attitude and the same competitive spirit that almost sent the franchise to its first Finals appearance.
Abueva will now play for his third team since drafted second overall by Alaska in 2012. The deal gives Magnolia additional help under the defense-oriented system of coach Chito Victolero.
Phoenix welcomes to its fold Banchero, who is likewise heading into his third PBA team since his entry in 2014 as a first round selection of Alaska.
Banchero also reunites with Phoenix coach Topex Robinson, a former assistant when the two were with Alaska.
It also gives Phoenix plenty of options to tap the best available player by four places higher in the draft.