Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is done waiting to get the services of 6-foot-9 center/forward Japeth Aguilar.
The Kings have finally acquired the athletic, young behemoth in day which saw four teams swinging deals also involving Jay Washington, Yousef Taha, Jason Deutchman, Elmer Espiritu and three future draft rights.
Shelved not a few times, the Aguilar and Washington trades were eventually consummated with the approval of PBA commissioner Chito Salud Tuesday afternoon.
The first trade saw Barangay Ginebra shipping Elmer Espiritu for the Energy Cola’s 2013 1st round draft pick it earlier acquired from Talk n Text in the deal also involving Aguilar. Then the Kings sent the same draft pick plus Taha to the Batang Pier for Aguilar.
The final deal had Petron Blaze sending Washington to GlobalPort for Deutchman and the Batang Pier’s 2016 and 2017 second round draft picks.
“Malaking bagay sa amin ang trade na ’to kasi alam naman ng lahat na we lack a big man,” said Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua.
“Bibigyan kami nito ng rebounding at depensa from the weak side. And remember, we are a run-and-gun team. Eto ngayon ang 6-foot-9 player na kayang sumabay tumakbo at tumapos ng fastbreak,” Chua added.
Reports of Aguilar moving over to Ginebra had been heard as early as four months ago or prior to the Commissioner’s Cup.
After several revisions to the trade proposal, GlobalPort owner Mikee Romero finally gave his approval Tuesday.
“Jaywash and Taha fill the void and weaknesses of GlobalPort in the post. On top of that, we can use the draft pick to rebuild our team,” said Romero.
GlobalPort coach Junel Baculi specifically welcomed their acquisition of Washington.
“The team needs his experience. I know he has a lot of energy in him. He has to let it all out, fit into our system and lead by example,” said Baculi.
Petron coach Olsen Racela, meanwhile, admitted they just lost a key part of their team.
“J-Wash is a very talented player and is definitely a big loss to our team, but I also feel this trade will be good for his career. GlobalPort is a young team that can give him the minutes that we couldn’t give him,” said Racela.
Washington and Aguilar are both No. 1 selections from the PBA Rookie Draft.
Washington, the 2005 first pick, will see action for his third team after Talk n Text and SMB/Petron while Aguilar, the 2009 top choice, is to strut his stuff with his fourth team after Burger King, Talk n Text and GlobalPort.
Aguilar is currently with Gilas Pilipinas in its Lithuanian buildup for the coming FIBA Asia Championship. (SB)