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    Joseph Yeo's move to Ginebra finally sealed, but NLEX bid to grab Urbiztondo foiled

    Jul 25, 2014

    FINALLY, Joseph Yeo's move to Ginebra has been consummated on Friday in a deal that would give newcomer NLEX the Gin Kings' first-round pick in the 2015 PBA rookie draft.

    Spin.ph first reported about the trade on June 20 or just days before NLEX completed its acquisition of Air21's PBA franchise, with Express team governor Lito Alvarez explaining that Yeo's return to the San Miguel group was a pre-agreed clause in the sale.

    [See Air21 clarifies Yeo deal, says return to SMC a gentleman's agreement that must be honored in sale

    Asked what caused a delay in the execution of the deal, a source said NLEX made a bid to have Ginebra veteran guard Josh Urbiztondo included in the package.

    However, Ginebra turned down the request, the source added.

    According to the source, another PBA ballclub tried to be part of the deal, but the talks bogged down.

    "So natuloy na nga 'yung (original) trade. 'Yun reason kaya natagalan ang execution nyan, may hinihingi pa NLEX na di na ibinigay nung isa," said the source.

    Instead of giving up Urbiztondo, the SMC group agreed to swap San Miguel Beer's 2015 first-round pick for NLEX's 2016 first-round pick, giving the Road Warriors three first-round picks next season where a bumper crop of rookies is anticipated.

    Among the players expected to be available in next year's draft are Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa, La Salle big men Arnold Van Opstal and Norbert Torres, Nico Elorde, UST star Aljon Mariano and two-time UAAP MVP Bobby Ray Parks, Jr.

    Continue reading below ↓

    However, Spin.ph has also reported that Gilas cadets and NLEX mainstays Ronald Pascual, Matt Ganuelas, and Jake Pascual are contemplating on deferring their draft applications this year to stay in the D-League and stay one more year with a new team to be put up by the Manny V. Pangilinan group.

    Also rethinking their draft plans are former NLEX stars Garvo Lanete and Kevin Louie Alas.

    [See Top prospects from Gilas cadets skipping coming PBA rookie draft]

    With the two trades, the MVP group now has, in all, six picks (out of the 12) in the first round of next year's draft with Meralco owning two and Talk 'N Text one.

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