CHITO Victolero shot down the notion Star got the raw end of the deal in the one-on-one trade that sent underrated big man Jake Pascual to Alaska for wingman Rome Dela Rosa.
The Hotshots coach said the deal was a win-win situation for both franchises as they got the players they needed.
Victolero made the clarification in light of the impression that Star got even more undersized by giving up the 6-foot-3 3/4 Pascual to the Aces in exchange for the 6-foot-2 De La Rosa, who many sees as another addition to the team’s surplus of backcourt players.
But the Hotshots mentor explained he plans to have the 26-year-old son of former PBA player Romy Dela Rosa to play the wings.
“Yung position ni Rome ang kailangan namin, kasi if our opponent will play with a big lineup like there’s Calvin (Abueva) or (Cliff) Hodge playing three, then we have a chance to match up with them,” said Victolero.
Giving up Pascual, the 28-year-old banger and former teammate of Dela Rosa at San Beda, still leaves the Hotshots with a bevy of big men at the frontcourt, according to Victolero, mentioning the likes of veterans Marc Pingris and Rafi Reavis, and young guns Ian Sangalang, Aldrech Ramos, and rookie Chris Javier.
Besides, he believes Pascual’s talent could be best utilized at Alaska following the injuries suffered by slotmen Sonny Thoss and Noy Baclao.
“I talked to Jake dahil nga medyo excess kami sa big men. I talked to him one-on-one and explained to him na kailangan siya ni coach Alex (Compton),” said Victolero. “I’m actually very happy for Jake.”
Dela Rosa failed to suit up for the Hotshots in their game against Phoenix last Saturday in the Philippine Cup as the trade was only consummated the day before.
The third-year pro suffered a quadricep injury and didn’t see action in the Aces’ first three games of the all-Filipino conference.
But he has since been re-activated by Alaska from the injury list before the trade was consummated, and Victolero said he’ll be ready to suit up for Star in its next game against Rain or Shine this Sunday.