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    Baclao, Buenafe set for switch as three-team trade gains headway

    Jan 30, 2013
    If the trade pushes through, Air21 big man Nonoy Baclao would switch places with gunner Ronjay Buenafe of Meralco. Jerome Ascano

    MERALCO is turning out to be the busiest team on the negotiation table in the pre-Commissioner's Cup break.

    While a bigger trade involving star Sol Mercado, Globalport's Rabeh Al-Hussaini, and wantaway Talk 'N Text big man Japeth Aquilar is nearing agreement, Meralco is also in talks with Air21 and Barako Bull on a separate deal.

    Under the terms of the proposal that is currently in the works, the Bolts will initially get rarely used big man Jason Ballesteros from Barako Bull in exchange for a second-round pick.

    The Bolts will then package Ballesteros with gunner Ronjay Buenafe in a deal with Air21 where they will get former Ateneo star Nonoy Baclao and shooter John Wilson in return.

    According to sources, the deal was agreed upon by Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio and Air21 governor Lito Alvarez following the tune-up game between the two teams on Tuesday.

    Meralco has also informed Mercado that he is on the trading block as it pursues a major reshuffle reportedly on orders from owner Manny Pangilinan, who also owns the successful Talk 'N Text franchise.

    The Mercado deal, which could involve as much as six teams, is still pending but may go through as early as Wednesday on the sidelines of the PBA board of governors' planning session in Singapore.

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    If the trade pushes through, Air21 big man Nonoy Baclao would switch places with gunner Ronjay Buenafe of Meralco. Jerome Ascano
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