By JONAS TERRADO
TNT, reeling from the decision of Ray Parks Jr. to skip the upcoming season, made an immediate remedy by acquiring NLEX’s No. 4 pick in this weekend’s PBA Rookie Draft in a three-way trade that included Blackwater.
The PBA approved the deal late Wednesday, with NLEX sending the pick to Blackwater for Don Trollano, Roi Sumang, Maurice Shaw and a second round draft choice in 2022.
Blackwater then traded the said pick to TNT in exchange for Simon Enciso, David Semerad, a first round choice in 2023 and a second round selection in 2024.
The deal came a day after Road Warriors coach Yeng Guiao, in an interview with One Sports’ The Game, hinted that things could be interesting in the next few days leading up to the draft slated Sunday, March 14, 2021.
“I like to probably give a heads up to our fans that there’s a lot of things that are going to happen from tonight until probably Saturday,” said Guiao when asked of his draft strategy in the said program.
NLEX also holds the third overall pick which it got as part of a three-team deal that sent Poy Erram to TNT last year.
This time, TNT will get a first round pick it hopes to capitalize after Parks opted out of the season which didn’t sit well with team owner Manny V. Pangilinan. Both sides were in negotiations for a contract extension when Parks announced his decision on social media.
The Tropang Giga originally had no picks in the first and second rounds, but the trade gives them an opportunity to fill the void left by Parks.
A player that TNT will likely get is Fil-American guard Mikey Williams, who is projected to be taken at No. 4 at the earliest in numerous mock drafts.
Williams, 29, has strong credentials, having played for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G-League in 2015 and the Saigon Heat of the ASEAN Basketball League before deciding to play in the Philippines.
The 6-foot-2 played for the Gensan Warriors in the MPBL Lakan Season in 2019 and was a member of Mighty Sports Philippines’ title run in the 2019 William Jones Cup and 2020 Dubai Invitational.
Having Williams may help the Tropang Giga make up for Parks’ absence at the backcourt spot as TNT looks to make a title run to start off Chot Reyes’ second stint as coach.
NLEX, meanwhile, will get solid role players in Trollano, who played for Guiao at Rain or Shine and with Gilas Pilipinas in the 2018 Asian Games, and Sumang.
Shaw, meanwhile, had a very disappointing rookie campaign after being taken second overall by Blackwater in 2019.