JERWIN Gaco was picked first by the Pasig Pirates in the MPBL dispersal draft while Jai Reyes was traded to the Navotas Clutch by Caloocan Supremos.
Gaco, who won multiple PBA championships with the Purefoods franchise, was released by Imus Bandera and was taken by the Pirates, which had the first pick due to its tournament-worst 1-9 win-loss record.
Cebu picked second and acquired Edrian Lao from the Davao Occidental Tigers.
Picking third was Caloocan, which acquired Reyes, but traded the spitfire guard immediately to the Navotas Clutch for Monbert Arong.
Rizal passed on taking players from the free agent list.
“Due to budget constraints, we would like to look first who among our players from the dispersal draft who will be picked. Para alam rin naming yung idadagdag namin,” said coach Braulio Lim.
Days before the trading period, the Pampanga Lanterns acquired coach Aldrin Morante, who led the Muntinlupa Cagers-Angelis Resort to a 7-0 start in the tournament after towing the squad to the championship round in the Raja Cup.
The Lanterns also acquired the services of ex-pros Levi Hernandez and Pari Llagas in separate deals with the Navotas and Muntinlupa, respectively.
Hernandez, a 6-foot-2 swingman, was shipped to his hometown Pampanga in exchange for burly frontliner Marlon Gomez.
Llagas, a key figure in the Cagers’ championship run last season, was traded to the Lanterns for young frontcourt man Daniel de Guzman.