THE series of trades Globalport pulled off on Draft Day isn’t lost on veteran forward Jay Washington, who’s convinced the young franchise is out to make a statement in its second PBA season.
Washington said selecting the likes of Far Eastern University stars Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia by trading away promising Yousif Taha and veteran point guard Denok Miranda is proof the Batang Pier are serious in putting together the pieces of what he hopes would be a champion roster someday.
Globalport acquired the No. 5 pick from Petron by sending away Taha before promptly using the selection to get Romeo, the high-scoring reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player. Petron acquired the pick from Barako Bull in exchange for Mark Isip and Magi Sison.
They Said It!
“We’re a totally different team after this draft. Now we just got to come together and see what we can do ." - Jay Washington, Globalport forward and two-time PBA Best Player of the Conference
The chance to pick Garcia, himself a former UAAP MVP, came when the Batang Pier traded Miranda to Barako for the No. 6 selection.
And for its own pick at no. 7, Globalport lost no time taking in Fil-Am big man Isaac Holstein.
“I just think it (trades initiated) shows how aggressive our management is. They (Globalport management) are not playing around. They mean business,” Washington told Spin.ph.as he joined owner Mikee Romero, team officials, and fellow players in welcoming their draftees on Sunday at Robinsons Place in Manila.
Globalport later added two-time UAAP Finals MVP Nico Salva to its rookie haul by tabbing the big man out of Ateneo at the start of the second round.
Other rookie picks by the Batang Pier in the late rounds include LA Revilla and Jopher Custodio.
The 6-foot-7 Washington, a former two-time Best Player of the Conference while playing for Petron, believes their rookies could easily make an impact if given the time to jell with the rest of the team.
“We’ve got a lot of quality picks that can help us win soon and contribute. We’re a totally different team after this draft. Now we just got to come together and see what we can do and jell together,” he added.
The 32-year-old power forward is also thankful that management has added veteran center Enrico Villanueva to the mix after Globalport shipped out former two-time league MVP Willie Miller and backup slotman Hans Thiele to Barako Bull on Draft Day.
“With Rico, he had many battles out there. His competitive level is very high. He’s another veteran who can lead young guys here, so definitely he’s gonna help,” explained Washington.
Globalport ended its maiden season in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league with a 7-31 win-loss record overall, capped by its very first playoff appearance during the Governors Cup.