THERE will be no more giveaway trades from Blackwater from hereon.
Elite owner Dioceldo Sy made the promise at the end of a season where the PBA expansion team dealt its first-round pick that turned out to be the No. 1 overall this year to Talk ‘N Text in a three-team deal for Larry Rodriguez.
The Elite have also made a questionable transfer of a player they already have, trading away vastly improved rookie guard Brian Heruela to Barako Bull for Carlo Lastimosa in their first offseason move last month.
Sy has vowed to put an end to this.
“We will be holding on to our draft picks for the next two to three years,” Sy said. “We will no trade any of our draft picks. We will concentrate on building the team.”
Because of the Rodriguez trade that saw Blackwater swap places with Talk 'N Text in the first round, the Elite are left with the ninth and 13th (first in second round) overall selections in the PBA Draft scheduled on August 23.
Sy bared they are planning to pick 23-year-old Filipino-American combo guard Maverick Ahanmisi, the University of Minnesota product who was a major piece in Café France’s title conquest in the last D-League Foundation Cup.
“Sana available pa siya by then,” Sy said. “We need younger blood.”
It remains to be seen who the Elite will select with their first pick of the second round.
The Blackwater brass will then decide on who to keep or unload from the roster of coach Leo Isaac that won just a handful of games - and got nowhere near the playoffs - in the team's first season in the league.
“We would like to wait after the draft to see what our adjustments are going to be,” Sy said.
Blackwater's rookies and free-agent pick-ups will make their debut in an invitational tournament in Malaysia which the Elite will compete in five days after the draft.