BLACKWATER team owner Dioceldo Sy on Thursday defended the PBA expansion team's deals with the two ballclubs from the Manny V. Pangilinan group, saying the Elite benefited from the transactions.
In a three-team deal approved by Commissioner Chito Salud on Thursday afternoon, Blackwater acquired former Rain or Shine center Larry Rodriguez and the first-round pick of Talk 'N Text next year by trading away its more precious first-round pick in 2015.
In doing so, Blackwater acted as a 'conduit' to the two MVP teams in the deal that saw the Tropang Texters acquire rookie guard Kevin Alas and the Elite's first-round pick in 2015, and NLEX get streak shooter KG Canaleta.
On Wednesday, Blackwater also released dispersal pool pick-up Danny Ildefonso, paying the way for the two-time league MVP's return to another MVP team, Meralco.
“Basically, we only sacrificed our pick but we got Talk 'N Text’s pick and Larry Rodriguez, so what should we whine about?” said Sy after critics questioned the Elite’s decision to act as conduit for the two MVP-owned ballclubs.
“We wanted to beef up our frontline, we continue to pursue our goal to become competitive. Remember, we are starting this team from scratch,” added the Ever Bilena Cosmetics president and CEO.
Sy also explained the team’s surprise decision to grab the 6-foot-4 Rodriguez after the Elite initially snubbed the Rain or Shine cast-off from the dispersal pool.
“During the dispersal draft, we really wanted Larry. But remember, we already took in Danny Ildefonso as our first pick. Pero sino ang mag-aakala na hindi namin mapapapirma si Ildefonso?” said Sy, whose team is also uncertain about rookie big man Frank Golla, who was recently diagnosed with a heart ailment.
“Kung alam lang namin noon na magkaka-problema kami kay Ildefonso, bakit naman namin hindi kukunin si Rodriguez? It’s a situation decided upon by turn of events,” he added.
What Blackwater lacked as a team, as shown by its 80-104 loss at the hands of Rain or Shine in a preseason game on Thursday morning, could somehow be addressed by the recent trade deals, Sy added.
“What’s the use of our future pick if we can’t improve now? Remember, if we improve our team and we perform well in the coming season, do you think those picks will still matter?” said the former chairman of the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL).
Meanwhile here is Blackwater’s list of officials and players:
Governor: Mr. Silliman Sy
Alternate Governor: Mr. Wilbert Loa
Team Manager: Mr. Johnson Martines
Assistant Team Manager: Rudy Yu
Head of Basketball Operations: Mr. Mike Lim
Head Coach: Leo Isaac
Rodil Sablan (1st Asst. Coach)
Juan Miguel Tiongson
John Paul Erram
Brian Heruela (reserve)