The appointment of KL Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia and the acquisition of John Wilson from NLEX in exchange for James Forester signal the start of a massive revamp for new PBA ballclub Phoenix.
Sources told SPIN.ph that Forrester’s transfer to NLEX is just another step in the Dennis Uy-owned franchise's complete overhaul of the team it acquired lock, stock and barrel from Barako Bull a conference ago.
The changes will not only entail changes in players and coaches but also the brand name, sources added.
“They have already told the league of their plans to give the team a new image. So expect more developments from the team,” said the source.
On Tuesday, PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa approved the one-on-one deal that will give Phoenix a new scoring and defensive option in Wilson, the former JRU Heavy Bomber who was picked seventh overall by Ginebra in the 2010 draft.
The trade was the third the Fuel Masters have undertaken over the past three weeks. The team earlier gave up RR Garcia and Rodney Brondial in a trade with Star to get its hands on Mark Cruz, Norbert Torres and Jonathan Uyloan.
Phoenix also gave up Mac Baracael, Emman Monfort and a 2018 second-round draft pick to NLEX for the pair of Simon Enciso and Mark Borboran.
But the changes will not stop there.
Once the overall of personnel is done, Phoenix is looking to carry a new brand name when the 42nd season kicks off this coming November.
It is not known if Phoenix’s decision for a total makeover had something to do with a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ with previous team owner Barako Bull prior to the sale.