Nabong-Wilson trade back on after minor hitch as NLEX, GlobalPort sort out draft pick issue
Kelly Nabong has been practicing with Meralco and John Wilson with NLEX. Jerome Ascano

AFTER a minor hitch, the three-team trade involving NLEX, GlobalPort and Meralco is back on as the Road Warriors and the Batang Pier management sorted out an issue over a draft pick that was part of the package.

Under the deal which Spin.ph first broke last Sunday, GlobalPort was to send big man Kelly Nabong to Meralco in exchange for John Wilson, who in turn will be shipped to NLEX for Meralco's second-round pick in the 2016 PBA rookie draft which NLEX got from a previous trade.

However, the trade was left 'pending' by the Commissioner's Office over a technicality regarding the Meralco pick.

It turned out Air21, whose franchise was acquired by NLEX, entered into a previous deal with Rain or Shine giving the Elasto Painters the right to the team's own second-round pick in 2016 or the one it acquired from Meralco, whichever comes first in the drafting order.

[See Nabong to join Meralco, John Wilson to NLEX in three-team trade]

NLEX team manager Ronald Dulatre explained the complexities of the deal.

“Kay Rain or Shine kasi 'yung higher (2016 second-round) pick between NLEX and Meralco, meaning kung ano mas mataas dun 'yun ang kukunin nila sa amin. So hindi namin maibigay ng diretso sa GlobalPort yung Meralco pick lang kasi baka 'yun ang mapunta sa Rain or Shine when the final position for the draft is released,” he said.

“So medyo nakita ng GlobalPort na baka ma-agrabyado sila, kaya nag-negotiate ulit kami."

To sort out the mess, NLEX threw another second-round draft pick which the team previously acquired from Barangay Ginebra into the equation. GlobalPort will now get whichever comes first of two second-round picks - the Ginebra pick or the one to be left out in the Rain or Shine deal.

"Sinama ko na yung Ginebra pick. So lumalabas, 'yung matitira sa pick namin mula sa RoS (Meralco or NLEX pick), isasama namin 'yung sa Ginebra, 'yung mas mataas ang position dun, 'yun ang ibibigay namin sa GlobalPort ,” Dulatre said.

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The Commissioner's Office is expected to approve the reworked deal.

Dulatre also praised the management of GlobalPort for being very cooperative, saying they were in constant touch with officials of the Batang Pier who are currently in Dubai for an overseas game.

NLEX is in a rush to close the deal since Wilson has been practicing with the team. Meralco coach Norman Black said he also expects Nabong to join the Bolts in their next game.

[See With little chance of getting big man from draft, Meralco pins hopes on Nabong]

“Ni-reword lang namin yung detail ng deal para maalalayan rin 'yung GlobalPort,” said Dulatre. “Natutuwa nga kami kasi kahit malayo sila, in constant communication sila with us. Importante rin kasi na maayos agad dahil we would want John Willson to already play in our next game,” he said.

“The kid has been practicing with us,” he added.

Globalport team governor Erick Arejola, who is in Dubai, said: “That is how we do business at our company and here in the PBA. We’re professionals. So distance and other hindrance should not get in the way.”

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