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    Yeo, Mallari will play their best basketball with Barako, says Rajko

    Jan 15, 2013

    FOR Rajko Toroman, slasher Joseph Yeo is exactly the player who can bring the Bull out of Barako.

    And having Alex Mallari on board will be a big bonus.

    The outspoken former national coach said Yeo and Mallari will be welcome additions to Barako Bull if the franchise can swing a trade that would have the Energy Cola parting with Ronald Tubid and a future first-round pick.

    “Tubid is our main player now, but Joseph and Mallari will be hard to pass up,” said Toroman. “Tubid is a good defender, but Joseph is a more offensive talent and skilled player. He will definitely make it to our system.”

    A source within Petron said the team is amenable to the trade and plans to submit the trade proposal to the Commisisoner's Office after the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City on January 20.

    According to another source, the trigger could have been pulled as early as last week but Tubid is needed for a promotional tour for Barako Bull during the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City.

    Toroman, of course, knows Yeo and Mallari very well, having worked with them during his shortlived stint as coaching consultant at Petron last year before his transfer to Barako Bull.

    At the same time, Toroman believes Tubid is one key component the Boosters need at this point of time when the star-studded team is still trying to find its feet and trying to establish cohesion.

     “Tubid is an energy guy who can give important contributions on both ends of the court. Petron is asking for him because the team needs to work on chemistry,” said Toroman, who has been running the daily practices of Barako Bull side-by-side with Bong Ramos.

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    “Petron has so many talent, but it cannot transfer this on the court, and Tubid can give it a lot of energy. He is a great defender, he can sacrifice his body. Probably what Petron needs.”

    Toroman also dispelled fears that Tubid can’t co-exist with his former Gilas Pilipinas stalwarts Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter, stressing, “I think it’s not a big problem … All three of them have size and talent. It won’t be a coaching nightmare to mix them up.”

    The 57-year-old former Iran national coach admitted he was the one behind Petron's selection of Mallari as the No. 3 overall choice in the last rookie draft.

    While the 6-4 guard is seen as "big disappointment" by Petron fans, Toroman thought otherwise.

    “Many people comment about him as such (disappointment), but I see lot of potentials in Mallari. He’ll need some time to mature and understand the PBA," the Serb said. “Mallari is one of the most skilled players I’ve seen.

    “Mallari has good size and it’s only a matter to time when he will be on the level of third pick in the draft.”

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