ALTHOUGH Barangay Ginebra is currently on a roll, the team is looking to make one trade by the turn of the year - partly to balance its lineup, partly to allow a rarely used guard to shine.
Information reaching Spin.ph bared the Gin Kings are willing to let go of Josh Urbiztondo so as not to hamper the career of the streak-shooting guard, who has had to settle for crumbs as far as playing minutes is concerned as he remains buried in a deep Ginebra backcourt.
“Gusto nang pakawalan si Josh. Kasi nakakaawa rin naman. Wala siyang playing time," said an insider who asked not to be named. "Kung maibibigay siya sa iba, kahit papano, babalik yung laro nung bata.”
According to the source, the Fil-Am guard is most likely headed to Air21, which is so desperate for a point guard to run its offense following the departure of Mike Cortez that it has converted Joseph Yeo into a playmaker.
Details of the deal are still being discussed, although the source said Ginebra will most likely get either a wingman or a big man in return.
After averaging 25 minutes with B-Meg Llamados and Barako Bull Energy two seasons ago, Urbiztondo saw his minutes dip to less than 15 minutes since he joined Ginebra late in the 2013 season as he played behind star guard LA Tenorio and former MVP Jayjay Helterbrand.
The arrival of diminutive playmaker Emman Monfort only worsened the situation for the deadly 30-year-old guard.
Also, the source pointed out correctly that Urbiztondo's departure will give Ginebra enough room to finally give first-round rookie draft pick James Forrester the opportunity to shine.
“Nagustuhan din kasi ng management 'yung Monfort. Maganda ang ibinibigay na performance nito kaya lalong nababaon (sa bench) si Josh,” said the source.
“Tapos bukod kay Emman, gusto na rin ng coaching staff na mabigyan ng chance yung isa pang guard - si James Forrester.”
As it is, Ginebra’s chief guard Tenorio already averages 35 minutes on the floor, leaving Urbiztondo and the other guards to share the remaining 13 minutes unless coach Ato Agustin decides to go with a two-point guard combo on the floor.
Another source bared that the reason Urbiztondo was given significant minutes during Ginebra's 97-83 win over Petron on Christmas day was to give Air21 the chance to size up the undrafted player who had a previous stint with the Express.
Urbiztondo responded with seven points, three rebounds, and five assists in 35 minutes.
At present, the Express only have one true point guard in its active roster in Wynne Arboleda.