RAIN OR SHINE delivered big man 6-foot-6 rookie Henry Galinato plus another veteran big Jewel Ponferada to reigning champion TNT Tropang Giga on Thursday to clear some space to its line-up prior to the opening of Philippine Basketball Association Season 48 in November.
Caloy Garcia, the head of basketball operations of Rain or Shine, told BusinessMirror that they sent the two players to the Tropang Giga to acquire their first round pick next year and big man Dave Marcelo.
“That trade gave us some space because of the two new big guys in our line up,” Garcia said, referring to Rain or Shine’s third and fourth overall pick Luis Villegas and Keith Datu Jr. in last Sunday’s Rookie Annual Draft.
Both 6-foot-7 players were already signed up with a contract while other rookies Adrian Nocom and Sherwin Concepcion, and then Marcelo are still under evaluation if they will be given a contract this season.
“Keith [Datu] has been doing well in practice while Villegas will be good for the Philippine Cup,” he added. “We gambled on Villegas despite recovering from a knee injury because we knew he was a great asset for our team.”
TNT team manager and coach Jojo Lastimosa believes they acquired what they needed in the trade.
“It’s a win-win for us, and we received a bonus in that trade. Galinato, a remarkable 6-foot-6 guy, very athletic, and known for his interior defense is what we need in the team because our only big JP Erram is still injured while Kelly Williams is not getting any younger,” Lastimosa said.
Lastimosa added that he got 6-foot-4 Lervin Flores from their 3×3 for additional bigs in their roster.
Galinato was picked in the second round at No. 15 by Rain or Shine before being offered to TNT also during the draft day.