IT went down to a choice between Henry Walker and Wayne Chism.
Blackwater opted for the tried and tested.
Before Chism ended up with Magnolia, the Elite held the signing rights to the former Rain or Shine import but decided to go with a familiar face in Walker as replacement for Jarrid Famous in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
So how come the rights to Chism, adjudged Best Import of this same conference in 2015 while still with Rain or Shine, ended up with Blackwater after last playing for NLEX a season ago?
NLEX executive Ronald Dulatre explained to SPIN.ph on Sunday that the Elite asked for the rights on Chism to be part of the trade involving Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Dave Marcelo.
Blackwater coach Bong Ramos, insiders said, had his eyes on the 31-year-old native of Jackson, Tennessee, the moment he took over the coaching job from Leo Isaac that the franchise had to include Chism’s signing rights in the Al-Hussaini-Marcelo trade.
The original Blackwater plan, sources said, was for Chism will take over Famous’ spot while Walker will come over as the Elite's import for the season-ending Governors Cup.
Unfortunately under league rules, a team can’t hold the rights two two imports at the same time, forcing Blackwater to pick between Walker and Chism.
“They have to give up Chism for Walker, that’s from what I understand dahil nga sa ruling ng PBA,” said Dulatre.
With Chism suddenly available, Magnolia lost no time in tracking down and signing him up for the Hotshots’ last two games in the eliminations, and hopefully, the playoffs.
‘So nung nalaman ng Magnolia na Blackwater held on to Walker, kinuha na nila si Chism,” said Dulatre.