BEAU Belga can heave a sigh of relief – for now.
Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia assured the veteran enforcer and the rest of the team that there will be no more trades – at least in the near future – after making two major transactions on Monday.
The Elasto Painters surprisingly sent Jeff Chan to Phoenix for Mark Borboran and a second-round pick then shipped rookie Mike Tolomia to Meralco in exchange for fellow Gilas cadet Ed Daquioag.
The E-Painters also made an import tweak from J.D. Weatherspoon to J’Nathan Bullock.
And with those moves, Garcia feels he has the pieces that can hold the fort while Gabe Norwood and Raymond Almazan are away on national duty for the E-Painters to get back on the winning track in the PBA Governors’ after losing their last two games.
“Right now, I don’t think we’re going to make (more changes) – except for the import,” Garcia said after practice. “Aside from that, we’re just focusing on the KIA game, so we’re going to stick to what we have right now.”
Longtime RoS star Belga is still bracing for any eventuality, but is holding on to Garcia’s word.
“In-assure naman sa akin nila coach Caloy na wala ng mangyayari trade pa,” Belga said. “Sinabi ni Coach Caloy na 'yun lang 'yun. Wala naman daw ibang babaguhin.”
Still, Garcia left the door open for future moves as he continues to strike a balance between keeping the remaining core and asserting his presence in the post-Guiao era.
League sources also told SPIN.ph that prior to the Chan-Borboran trade, Rain or Shine also tried to get TNT big man Mo Tautuaa, but no agreement was reached on a multi-team deal.
“We have to start anew,” Garcia said. “For the past two conferences, what worked for coach Yeng might not work for me, so that’s why we’re trying to find ways for us that we can win – at the same time try to keep the players. If you have to make changes to improve, you have to do it.”
The mild-mannered coach said the trades send the message to the players that this team means business.
“I think the players’ mentality playing under coach Yeng, sila kasi may takot eh,” he added. “So with me, I started slow in that spot. Basically now, since we’re doing some trades, medyo siguro may takot na rin ang players. This is a career eh. If you can’t make changes, the players might take advantage of it.”
“And the atmosphere right now, the players who haven’t been used are working harder now,” he continued. “Just giving the opportunity probably will change the atmosphere of the team.”