JUST a day after trading Mick Pennisi to Purefoods Star for two bench players, Barako Bull Energy is in the thick of negotiations with San Miguel Beer for another trade deal.
A source told Spin.ph that the Beermen wanted to beef up its frontline in time for the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs, looking at veteran center Dorian Pena to play the role of chief back-up to overworked slotman June Mar Fajardo.
The trade with Barako Bull, however, is still pending ahead of the result of the Beermen’s game against expansion team Blackwater Elite at the end of the single-round eliminations on Tuesday.
“Yun ang plano, kukunin si Dorian. Pero pwedeng i-postpone nila 'yan, kasi mukhang okay naman ang slot position ng team ngayon,” said the source who requested anonymity.
“Pwedeng ituloy ito (Pena trade) kaso baka isantabi muna ngayon kasi tight na ang schedule tapos recovering pa si Dorian (from injury),” he added of the former San Miguel mainstay.
Instead, the source bared that the Beermen will most likely turn its attention to re-acquiring Denok Miranda, another former Beermen who has revived his game with Barako Bull this season.
“Inaareglo na nila yung Denok trade,” said the source.
Asked who will be shipped to Barako for the gungho Miranda, the source was still non-committal.
“Hindi pa final eh. Pero mukhang si Sol Mercado ang kukunin nilang kapalit, (pero) pwede pang mabago yan ha,” he said.
Unless San Miguel parts with either Sol Mercado or Chris Ross, the deal can't be done since another SMB sentinel, Jeric Fortuna, has just arrived from Barako and can't be traded owing to a league rule preventing a player from returning to his original team within a season.
“Yun ang logic,” he said.
If the deals push through, this will be the third time in less than a month that Barako will seal a deal with two San Miguel Corporation-controlled teams, shortly after the team gave pink slips to owner George Chua’s most trusted men last October including his sons Paul and Michael Chua and longtime team manager Raffy Casyao.
The first trade sent young guard Fortuna to San Miguel for third-stringer Paolo Hubalde, and the second was the deal that sent sweet-shooting veteran Mick Pennisi to Purefoods for Ronnie Matias and Isaac Holstein, which was approved by the league over the weekend.
Before joining Barako, Miranda was relegated to a bench player at San Miguel side where he averaged a woeful 6.27 points and 2.53 assists per game in four seasons.
His transfer to Barako during the 2013 season served to rekindle the old fire in his game, with Miranda raising his averages to 11.34 points, 3.075 assists and 2.82 rebounds per outing.
The latest trades will likely be announced by San Miguel management after the team's last elimination-round game, a day before the deadline window closes on Wednesday afternoon.