THE one-on-one deal between Gilas cadets Von Pessumal and Arnold Van Opstal was approved by the PBA because of a prior agreement among members of the PBA board made before the special rookie draft held last year.
Although the original provision prohibiting a trade involving Gilas cadets over the next two years, there’s also a clause included that allows teams to transact cadet-for-cadet trades.
Willie Marcial of the PBA Commissioner’s Office made the matter clear on Monday after a trade was consummated between grand slam-seeking San Miguel Beer and Globalport involving Pessumal and the seldom-used Van Opstal.
“Allowed yun cadet to cadet trade. Approve ng board yan bago pa yung special draft (nung October),” said the league’s communications and external affairs head.
“Ang hindi puwede yung i-trade for player na hindi Gilas cadet.”
Marcial clarified the provision still applied even if the 6-9 Van Opstal has since been dropped from the national pool by Gilas coaches after failing to attend practices.
Another provision in the same board agreement was the non-trading of Blackwater’s Mac Belo to any other team – cadet player or otherwise – in the next two seasons.
“Si Belo lang ang hindi puwedeng i-trade,” stressed Marcial.
Although no clear order of pick had been established during the special draft, the Elite lost no time in tabbing Belo from the 12-man pool as the big man out of Far Eastern University was the consensus choice as the best talent from the short list.