THE injury to Air21 big man Rob Reyes and the recent revival of Meralco in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup have again forced the two teams to shelve a long-planned players swap.
Reyes recently suffered an ACL injury, while the Bolts are currently on a two-game winning run, capped by an 89-88 win over the Express the last time.
Sources privy to the negotiations informed Spin.ph the two factors have caused negotiations to be put off - at least for the moment. The same deal had already been shelved once in January.
“Nagkagulo-gulo eh, dapat last week pa `yun na-i-push through kaso ngayon hold na rin muna daw,” said one of the sources on the trade that would have transferred Noy Baclao, James Cena, and John Wilson to Meralco for Mark Borboran, Ronjay Bunafe, and a future draft pick.
Carlo Sharma, who was part of the initial deal, has been dropped for Borboran.
However, Meralco turned down a revised Air21 offer by insisting on a straight swap between Buenafe and Wilson.
“Hindi pa kasi maka-galaw ng big men ang Air 21 dahil injured nga si Rob (Reyes). Gusto nila gwardiya-gwardiya muna,” added the insider.
Meralco, the source said, has already been preparing for the departure of Buenafe - the reason fellow forward Sunday Salvacion's playing time increased over the team's last two games.
But come-from-behind victories over Globalport and Air21 have convinced Meralco management to put all moves on hold.
“Kaso nagpa-panalo lately `yung Meralco,” said the source.