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    SMB sends Kelly Nabong back to NorthPort in trade for Russel Escoto

    Jan 9, 2020

    SAN Miguel Beer has let go of Kelly Nabong, sending the temperamental center back to NorthPort in a trade.

    The Beermen finally sent the Fil-Am bruiser packing following a tumultuous end to their grand slam dream, getting young forward Russel Escoto in return in a one-on-one deal with NorthPort on Thursday.

    The Office of the Commissioner approved the trade on Thursday.

    Nabong was involved in a fistfight that marred a San Miguel practice last November which also involved Arwind Santos, Ronald Tubid, and import Dez Wells, and all but derailed San Miguel's bid for a rare grand slam.

    That scuffle led to the eventual departure of Wells and an indefinite suspension on the three locals.

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    As a result, the Beermen's campaign in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup took a hit and the team was given the boot in the quarterfinals by sister team Ginebra.

    Nabong, 31, was averaging 4.1 points and 4.0 rebounds for the third conference before being slapped with the ban.

    This will be the 6-foot-6 banger's third run with the Batang Pier. He enjoyed a career resurgence with the GlobalPort franchise before being traded to San Miguel for Gabby Espinas and future picks in 2018.


      On the other hand, this will be the biggest break for Escoto, who was taken in the special Gilas round of the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft.

      The 27-year-old forward out of Far Eastern University has recovered from a knee injury and has been rebuilding himself this past season at Columbian before being traded to NorthPort last August.

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      Escoto posted 3.7 points on a 47-percent shooting from threes, to go with 2.4 rebounds in his short run with the Batang Pier in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup.

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      His arrival in San Miguel also paves the way for a team-up with his bilas Arwind Santos.

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