The blockbuster trade that sent San Miguel veteran Arwind Santos to NorthPort for newly-acquired forward Vic Manuel will serve the PBA in good stead, according to league commissioner Willie Marcial.
“Makakaapekto, siguro mas makakabalanse sa mga teams,” said Marcioa during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum when asked to comment on the one-for-one deal between the Beermen and the Batang Pier.
“Inaprubahan ng Trade Committee ko. So, sa akin, sa tingin ko, makakaganda sa liga. Personal ko ‘yun. Makakaganda sa liga ‘yung ganoong mga trades,” he added.
The 40-year old Santos, who spent the last 12 years with the flagship team of the SMC group and was instrumental in eight successful title runs including an unprecedented five straight Philippine Cup crowns, will move on to his third team in the league while Manuel will see action for his sixth.
It marked the end of an era for the Beermen as Santos is part of the team’s dreaded ‘Death Five’ along with June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross. Together, the group was able to deliver 8 of the franchise’s 27 PBA titles in a span of 5 years.
Meanwhile, the Batang Pier have been busy on the trading table, figuring in three deals in the last 5 days.
The Mikee Romero-owned squad got the ball rolling by sending Manuel and Michael Calisaan to Phoenix Super LPG for Sean Anthony, Sean Maganti and a 2nd round pick in the 2022 draft. Three days later, Manuel was shipped to the Beermen for Santos. The following day, Sidney Onwubere was dealt to Brgy. Ginebra for injury-prone forward Arthur dela Cruz.
All deals were instantly approved by the league’s trade committee.