MPBL: After retooling management, coaching staff, what’s next for Bataan Risers?

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THERE must be a better reason why the Bataan Risers showed up with only eight gallant men the moment Jonas Villanueva took over as head coach of the squad.

Alvin Pasaol, a talented forward, was not able to see action along with big man Santy Santillan, ex-pros Leo Najorda, Jai Reyes, Chito Jaime, and Fonso Gottladerra, veteran guard Mar Villahermosa and other young aspirants like Anton Asistio, Sean Manganti, and Vince Tolentino among others.

Of the big names mentioned, only Jaime was guaranteed to return by Villanueva as the veteran forward hails from Bataan.

“Si Chito mag-stay siya,” Vilanueva told FOX Sports Philippines. “The rest of the squad, they might end up getting traded.”

The players mentioned were acquired by the previous management group, Zetapro, headed by businessman Anthony Zubiri, whose group is no longer operating the basketball squad in the MPBL after franchise owner, Camaya Coast, terminated its partnership with the former.

Also no longer part of the squad are head coach Jong Uichico and his assistants — Junel Baculi and Ryan Betina, all of them under the contractual obligations of Zetapro.

The MPBL announced the opening of the trading period last Monday and it will last for only a week. Only teams which submitted their Uniform Player’s Contract are allowed to participate in the trade, according to league commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.

Bataan had already complied by submitting their UPCs along with Rizal, Makati, Cebu, Pampanga, Bulacan, Marikina, Parañaque, San Juan, Muntinlupa, Bacoor, Zamboanga, and Valenzuela.

These teams can now start making trade transactions, but Commissioner Duremdes added that teams willing to make trades can still do so by sending the UPCs of their respective squads.