THE trade that was supposed to see Barako Bull's Ronald Tubid and Petron swingman Joseph Yeo switching places has been aborted, sources from both sides revealed on Saturday.
The trade had looked as good as done only a week ago and was in fact set to be consummated on Tuesday, but Petron reportedly balked when Barako asked that rookie Alex Mallari be thrown into the package.
Barako Bull was willing to part with a future first-round pick - the team has seven over the next two years - to make the trade work, but Petron sources said the team has other plans for Mallari, the No. 3 pick in the last rookie draft who spent his debut conference riding on the Boosters' bench.
Mallari, in fact, had been very receptive when he got wind of the trade talks, saying a move to Barako "may be the start of my 'real' PBA career."
Drillmaster Rajko Toroman, who influenced the Petron decision to make Mallari the third pick in the draft, was also looking forward to bring the best out of the lanky point guard at Barako Bull.
Both Tubid and Yeo had already been advised by their respective teams of the status quo as talk of a bigger three-team trade, not involving the pair, gained ground on Saturday.