After trade for Miller, Villanueva embraces leader's role at young Globalport side
Enrico Villanueva found himself on the move again on Draft Day when he was sent by Barako Bull to the Batang Pier for two-time league MVP Willie Miller and Hans Thiele. Dante Peralta

ENRICO Villanueva doesn’t mind being traded away by Barako Bull to Globalport in a low-profile deal consummated ahead of Sunday’s PBA Annual Draft.

Villanueva found himself on the move again on Draft Day when he was sent by the Energy Cola to the Batang Pier for two-time league Most Valuable Player Willie Miller and Hans Thiele.

The veteran that he is, the big man out of Ateneo said as long as he can be of help to a young franchise such as Globalport, then he is more than willing to do his part.

“Kung saan ako makakatulong, magta-trabaho ako para manalo ng championship. Bawat player naman kasi `yun ang gustong mangyari,” said Villanueva, who already joined the Batang Pier in welcoming their rookie picks led by reigning UAAP MVP Terrence Romeo during the draft proceedings at Robinson’s Place Manila in Ermita.

“Definitely, if I got traded because they wanted me, they needed me, then I will be more than happy to help.”

Villanueva admitted not being surprised when he was told about the trade.

“Beterano na ako, kaya di na ako nasu-surprise sa mga ganyan.”

The former Gilas Pilipinas stalwart is expected to have an active hand with Globalport, where he stands to be one of the team’s veteran players along with Jay Washington and Sol Mercado.

“That’s what exactly Boss Mikee (Romero) told us, kaming tatlo nila JayWash and Sol 'yung magiging leaders ng team,” said Villanueva, looking splendid in a gray suit.

“We have to guide the younger guys because sinasabi nila sa akin kanina na ang average age ng team namin is 24, so sobrang bata talaga. “

But despite being a young franchise, Villanueva believes the future looks bright for the Batang Pier.

“I’m happy with the way we drafted. Instantly, magiging contender `yung Globalport not because of me but with our draft picks. Nag all-out si Boss Mikee para dito sa draft,” he said.

Globalport was the busiest team during the draft with six rookies. Apart from Romeo, the Batang Pier also picked RR Garcia, Isaac Holstein, Nico Salva, Jopher Custodio, and LA Revilla.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos