With the goal of coming out with a team known for its relentless attack on offense and unforgiving defense, Mahindra began its player movement just hours after Sunday’s PBA Rookie Draft.
The Floodbusters kicked off their offseason move by sending stretch four Aldrech Ramos to the Star Hotshots in exchange for versatile Fil-American Alex Mallari.
Mahindra, then added veteran guard Ryan Arana to its mix while shipping young guard Keith Agovida to San Miguel Beer, which is set to defend its PBA Philippine Cup crown next season.
The three-year-old PBA franchise also acquired seldom-used guard-/forward Josan Nimes from Rain or Shine in exchange for its second-year draft pick for 2017.
Mahindra team manager Eric Pineda said the separate deals were reached shortly after the rookie draft and their trade papers will be sent to the Office of the Commissioner by Wednesday for approval, given the long weekend.
“Yung mag trades na iyan, pinag-usapan na namin with other teams because yung aming coach si Chris Gavina, when he took over the team, yung kanyang brand of play requires certain skills of certain players that’s why nagkakaroon kami ng di naman major overhaul, but several player trades para makuha niya yung certain lineup na gusto niya,” Pineda told FOX Sports on Halloween Monday.
Pineda said they are confident that by acquiring Mallari and Arana, they now have two reliable veteran, who can provide the offense due to their ability to penetrate and their quickness.
“Si Mallari, slasher iyan, and si Arana, ganun din, pumapasok sa loob, iyun ang forte niya, so lahat ng kinukuha namin umaatake,” he said.
As for Nimes, the former Mapua gunner, the Mahindra team executive is confident he’ll be able to realize his potential under Gavina after averaging just 1.58 points and 1.38 rebounds in 24 games for Rain or Shine during his rookie year.
The 29-year-old Mallari could easily bring in his rich championship experience for Mahindra, having been part of Star’s (then known as San Mig) Grand Slam title conquest in the 2014 PBA season.
Similarly, Arana is a veteran, who, just last season won a PBA title with San Miguel during the Philippine Cup. – Richard Dy
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