Which team will fall once more into the TNT trap: NLEX, KIA or Blackwater?

ByRonald Agbada

During the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft, the NLEX Road Warriors nabbed 6-foot-5 Filipino-American Matthew Ganuelas-Rosser with the 4th overall pick.

Ganuelas-Rosser however failed to play a single game for the Road Warriors as he was immediately shipped to sister team Talk ‘N Text in a three-team deal which included the GlobalPort Batang Pier.

After the dust has settled, NLEX was left with Harold Arboleda and two 2nd round picks from GlobalPort (2016 and 2018).

Arboleda played 2 seasons for NLEX and was released prior to the 2016-17 season. The 2016 2nd round pick which the Road Warriors got from GlobalPort ended with the San Miguel Beermen who used it to draft Rashawn McCarthy.

Looking for backcourt help due to Jayson Castro’s commitment to Gilas Pilipinas, TNT traded Ganuelas-Rosser to San Miguel for RR Garcia during the elimination round of the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.

Regardless of the 2018 pick, it’s clear that NLEX got the raw end of the deal by letting go of Ganuelas-Rosser.

Moving on to the 2015 Rookie Draft, Talk ‘N Text pulled off another blockbuster move by securing the top 2 picks. Blackwater had the top pick followed by KIA.

The Texters secured Blackwater’s pick by sending their own 1st round pick plus Larry Rodriguez to the expansion team. Talk ‘N Text then drafted Moala Tautuaa with the 1st overall pick.

On the other hand, KIA chose Troy Rosario with the 2nd overall pick and then traded him to Talk ‘N Text in a three-team, multi-player deal along with NLEX.

Under the terms of the deal, KIA dealt Rosario to Talk ‘N Text for Kevin Alas and Rob Reyes. Alas was then sent to NLEX for KG Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos.

KIA ended up with Reyes, Canaleta and Ramos but the expansion team would later on drop Reyes. Talk ‘N Text ended up with Rosario while NLEX with Alas.

The deal was immediately approved by then newly-appointed Commissioner Chito Narvasa.

Going through the deals made by TNT with sister team NLEX and expansion teams Blackwater and KIA, it’s clear that all were one-sided in favor of the flagship team of the MVP Group.

All the players traded by TNT to the three teams were either traded or released not long after the deal.

NLEX got Arboleda from TNT, Blackwater got Rodriguez and eventually dela Cruz, KIA got Canaleta, Ramos and Reyes.

Arboleda and Rodriguez are no longer playing in the PBA, dela Cruz is now with Brgy. Ginebra in a trade which included Raymond Aguilar. The Elite received Chris Ellis and Dave Marcelo. KIA released Reyes immediately after the trade, then Canaleta one season after. Ramos was traded to Star for Alex Mallari. Mallari is now with NLEX.

Incidentally, all three teams which were bamboozled by TNT during the 2014 and 2015 Rookie Drafts hold the rights to the top 3 picks in the 2017 Rookie Draft. And with blue-chip players like Christian Standhardinger, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, Jett Manueal and Raymar Jose making themselves available, it won’t be a surprise if TNT will once again move heaven and earth just to get a crack at the top 5 picks in the 1st round.

The question is, which team will fall into the TNT trap this upcoming rookie draft. Will it be KIA, NLEX or Blackwater?


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