RAIN or Shine is sending one of its few remaining pioneers, Ryan Arana, to Barako Bull in a trade for a future second-round pick as the PBA ballclub finalizes its lineup for the coming season, a top official confirmed on Wednesday.
Rain or Shine governor Mert Mondragon told Spin.ph the team made the move to make room for other players in a crowded Elasto Painters backcourt.
The signed papers for the deal, which would have Rain or Shine getting Barako Bull's highest second-round pick in next year's draft, is now with the Commissioner's Office awaiting appoval, Mondragon added.
The soft spoken Rain or Shine chief legal counsel also bared that with Arana already with Barako, the team can now provide more playing minutes for rookies Maverick Ahanmisi, Don Trollano and Josan Nimes.
“Isa-sign namin lahat yun eh,” he said.
Asked why Rain or Shine didn't seek either of Barako's two 2016 first-round picks in the Arana trade, Mondragon said: “Kasi kami ang naki-usap sa kanila eh, sobra na kami ng players eh.
“Wala na silang maibigay sa amin eh. Actually, we just wanted them to get Ryan kasi puno na kami and we wanted to accommodate some of the players we will be needing more sa lineup, who have been practicing with us."
With Arana gone, sources said forward Ronnie Matias may get a chance for a return to the Rain or Shine lineup after spending the past season with Purefoods (now Star) and Barako Bull.
The former Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila banger has been practicing with Rain or Shine for the last five weeks despite offers from other teams including ABL team Powervit Pacman Philippine Aguilas.
Spin.ph had previously reported that Arana is on the trading block, having been offered to the Meralco Bolts, Globalport Batang Pier and NLEX Road Warriors before his move to Barako.
However, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao also assured Spin.ph on Monday that his team is done trading unless other teams come up with irresistible offers.
On Wednesday, Mondragon assured that the Arana trade will now be the last for Rain or Shine as another player earlier reported to be on the trading block, Beau Belga, has decided to stay with the team.
“Wala na. Okay na si Beau sa amin,” said Mondragon.
With Arana out, Jireh Ibanes is left as the longest tenured player of the franchise owned by Terry Que and Raymond Yun.
Meanwhile, sources bared Barako might not be the last stop for Arana as the former De La Salle guard may eventually end up with either San Miguel Beer or Star Hotshots,.
Of the two, the Beermen have a bigger need for an enforcer who can slash hard to the basket and free up some space for big man June Mar Fajardo and other San Miguel shooters.
Mondragon bared there is no clause in the trade proposal that will prevent Barako from trading Arana to other teams.