Vanguardia says chance to get 'proven winner' Jeff Chan simply hard to resist
Ariel Vanguardia sees Jeff Chan as a partner and teacher to Phoenix young guns like Gilas ace Matthew Wright. Jerome Ascano / Jaime Campos

PHOENIX sees veteran Jeff Chan as a major player in the Fuel Masters' drive to a championship.

Head coach Ariel Vanguardia hopes the trade would be a big boost that will put the Fuel Masters to the next level, as he expects its impact to be similar to when Paul Lee was shipped from Rain or Shine to Star.

"(He is a) proven winner. I hope he can impact Phoenix like what Paul Lee did to Star," said Vanguardia.

PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa on Monday approved the trade that sent Chan, a longtime Rain or Shine Elastopainter, to Phoenix in exchange for Mark Borboran and a 2020 second-round draft pick.

Vanguardia specifically mentioned Matthew Wright as one of the beneficiaries of the trade as Chan will be able to be a mentor the team's young players.

[SeeĀ Jeff Chan's days at RoS over after trade to Phoenix for Borboran, second-round pick]

Incidentally, Wright is currently part of the Gilas Pilipinas squad in which Chan was also a former member when he played for the national team in the 2013 Fiba-Asia Championship and the 2014 Fiba World Cup.

"Jeff can be a mentor to Matt. (He) gives us more threat from the outside, (and the) Gilas pedigree," said Vanguardia.

Chan will be joined by fellow veterans JC Intal, RJ Jazul, and Cyrus Baguio in the Phoenix squad looking for the franchise's first championship.

While his team was able to obtain a veteran with championship experience in Chan, Vanguardia said it was also a difficult decision to give away Borboran, who he described as a 'players' coach.'

"Who would resist (getting Chan). Although Borbs is a players' coach, we will miss him. Borbs is well-liked and a consummate professional," said Vanguardia.

[SeeĀ RoS not done trading, sends Tolomia to Meralco for fellow Gilas cadet Daquioag]


Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports