CJ Perez trade a win-win situation for both San Miguel and Terrafirma, says Leo Austria

San Miguel and Terrafirma are back on the trading table and just like their infamous deal a few years ago, this one generated a lot of buzz from league followers.

True to the initial form of three bench warmers plus a first round pick for a top overall pick, the Beermen and Dyip are attempting to recreate the 2017 trade all over again.

Fresh from leading the league in scoring during the compressed 2020 Philippine Cup inside the PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga, CJ Perez is now headed to the league’s winningest franchise in exchange for Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Gelo Alolino, Russell Escoto and the 8th overall pick in the upcoming rookie draft.

The deal is currently being reviewed by the league’s 5-man trade committee.

While a significant number of fans and observers have frowned upon the controversial swap, SMB coach Leo Austria firmly believes that both teams stand to benefit if and when the league gives its stamp of approval.

“It’s a win-win situation. We gave up the no. 8 pick, may defensive player ka pa in Matt Rosser, may point guard, may big man pa. So (halos) kumpleto yung ibinigay namin. Dagdagan mo na lang ng isang veteran player, isang (unit) na yan,” explained Austria.

The 8-time PBA champion mentor feels that the draft pick included in the package is a crucial part since it’s the team’s highest since 2014 plus the fact that the 2021 draft pool is the largest-ever in league history.

“First time na mataas kami sa draft since my rookie year. Meron kaming No. 3 noon, pero through trade ang nangyari, na-acquire namin sa Barako Bull. After that, it’s either 11 or 12, pero most of the time no. 12. And hindi ganito kalalim ang draft,” said Austria who reminded critics of a key management objective.

“It’s the job of coaches and management to get the best available player. If they’re (players) available, we have to keep on trying to get a player, kahit sino pa yan.”

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