One door closes but another opens as John Pinto moves from Mahindra to Blackwater
Despite a solid showing in the Governors Cup, John Pinto found himself dropped by Mahindra to the unrestricted free agent list where the Elite immediately picked him up. Jaime Campos

THERE are players who are acquired and viewed as the missing piece of a team’s puzzle ahead of its postseason campaign.

But there are unfortunately some who are viewed expendable and left off the squad before its playoff push.

That appears to be the case with John Pinto, who has suddenly found himself playing for Blackwater after being a vital cog in Mahindra’s ongoing breakthrough campaign in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

Despite putting up decent numbers of 4.1 points on 50-percent shooting, 3.4 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 17.4 minutes off the bench in his seven games with Mahindra this conference, the three-year playmaker found himself dropped by Mahindra to the unrestricted free agent list where the Elite immediately picked him up.

“Nagulat rin ako,” Pinto admitted in a chat with SPIN.ph. “Pero ganun talaga eh. ind HHindi ko naman control yan.”

That completed his transfer from a giant-slaying team that’s bound for its first ever postseason appearance to a club that’s stuck in the cellar of the season-ending conference.

Pinto, though, is sticking to the positives, seeing his transfer to Blackwater as a window of opportunity.

“Blessed na din ako kahit papaano na may nagtitiwala sa laro ko kagaya ng Blackwater,” insisted the former Arellano star, who turns 26 next month. “Nagpapasalamat pa rin ako sa Kia sa opportunity.”

Pinto has suited up for Blackwater but didn’t play in their 107-87 loss to Alaska last week and the 5-foot-11 point guard hopes to show his wares when the Elite face Phoenix on Wednesday in Antipolo.

“Hindi ko pa alam,” the Davao native, the 19th overall pick in the 2014 rookie draft, said. “Tingnan natin sa next game.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos