FORMER Smart Gilas-Pilipinas big man Jason Ballesteros has worn out his welcome at Meralco as he was traded on Tuesday to Barako Bull for the veteran pair of Carlo Sharma and Sunday Salvacion.
Ballesteros, the bruising 6-foot-7 center out of San Sebastian selected No. 7 overall by the Bolts last year's draft, is expected to add heft and size to the Energy frontcourt that recently acquired Enrico Villanueva in another multi-player offseason trade.
"You can't teach height but you can teach skills," Barako coach Junel Baculi told Spin.ph when asked about the trade, adding Ballesteros is certainly going to be a good big man project for the team.
Villanueva and Ballesteros are expected to alternate playing in Barako's frontline along with the hard-working Doug Kramer and veteran Mick Pennisi.
“You also have to understand that Mick and Enrico are not getting younger anymore. Hopefully, he’ll be able to adjust immediately to our system,” added the Barako Bull coach.
The presence of the sophomore center will likewise make up for the loss of Don Allado in the coming Philippine Cup when the former La Salle power-forward serves out a conference-long suspension following his controversial rants on the microblogging site Twitter.
Sharma and Salvacion, meanwhile, will add experience to a young, rebuilding team like the Bolts, who recently lost the services of 13-year center and former league MVP Asi Taulava.
“We’re always trying to give this team a decent look,” said team manager Butch Antonio. “With Carlo, he’ll give us depth in the frontcourt and a good back up to Jay-R (Reyes), while Sunday will definitely help us spread out the opponents’ defense with his outside shooting.”
The trade papers are now in the office of commissioner Chito Salud for final approval.