THE business of PBA trades knows no boundaries. It can happen to anyone, even superstars.
It can also happen anytime, whatever you’re going through.
That’s what RJ Jazul found out when Alaska traded him to Phoenix for Simon Enciso in February 2017.
RJ Jazul on trade
At least former Aces coach Alex Compton was gracious enough to tell the news to Jazul in person, meeting him in a fastfood restaurant in Caloocan near the playmaker’s residence.
“Kasi hindi ako pwede lumabas ng malayo,” Jazul recalled on SPIN Zoom In. “Then there, he told me na, ‘trade ka na.’ Medyo maganda naman pagkakuwento, medyo mayroon pang mga palabok tsaka sahog, ‘di ba, sir, ganun naman? Pero bottomline, I was traded after I was discharged.”
“Thankful naman ako na binisita niya ako…to bring the good news,” he added in jest.
Jazul had already been traded twice – first after his rookie year in 2010 at Rain or Shine to Shopinas/Air21, before transferring to Alaska a year later.
So getting traded for the third time was nothing new for the 15th overall pick in the 2010 Draft out of Letran.
“Dun ko na-realize na you don’t have to be emotional about everything, lalo na sa PBA, sa business side,” Jazul, a 2013 Commissioner’s Cup champion with Alaska, said.
“We always dream of a perfect world na, ‘Okay dito. Masaya dito.’ You’re always so attached. Syempre family rin namin magkakakilala, wives, invite namin tapos kids. Family talaga yung Alaska.”
“But dun mo mare-realize na it’s a business talaga. There’s nothing permanent sa team mo however you wish na ganun.”
Jazul, though, steadily found his footing with Phoenix, proving he’s one of the best sixth men in the league by being named Mr. Quality Minutes in 2020 when the Fuel Masters came just one win shy of reaching the PBA Philippine Cup Finals in the Clark bubble.
Now on his 12th year in the pros, Jazul is still going strong at age 36.
“I’ve come to realize na everything happens for a reason. I’m in Phoenix right now. We did a good run; bubble and everything, masaya. Thankful din. There’s always an opportunity sa mga ganun. It depends on the person. Perception lang yan.”
“Syempre sa una, masakit, pero once you get through it, okay na ako.”
“Thankful ako kay coach Alex at Alaska,” he added.