Barangay Ginebra, a talented but aging team like the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, has bolstered its frontline – by securing veteran John Ferriols.
Ferriols’ acquisition by Ginebra became official on Wednesday night when the 35-year-old former Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) most valuable player (MVP) became an unrestricted free agent.
Alaska Milk put the 6-foot-5 lefty center/forward on the reserved list to make room for new recruit big man – 6-foot-9 Samigue Eman.
Ginebra took advantage as Ferriols officially became an unrestricted free agent being put on the reserved list.
Alaska team manager and board representative Joaqui Trillo said, in a telephone interview, that they’re putting Ferriols on the reserved list. Eman, who was picked up by the Aces during the latter stretch of the Philippine Cup, moved up to join the Aces’ regular roster.
“He’s still with us, but he can be picked up by any team as long as he agrees to play with them," added Trillo.
Ginebra coach Jong Uichico, whose team just picked up 6-foot-9 Yancy de Ocampo from Air21 a few days ago, was happy to have an additional frontliner in Ferriols.
The multi-titled mentor, however, said he wants young players who can provide support to his aging veterans, who may have to play reduced minutes to be preserved in the long stretch.
“Let’s face it. Our team is not getting any younger. We have a 35-year-old Ferriols coming over and we have a 33-year-old Rudy Hatfield returning. So as veterans Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand who are not getting any younger either and if maglalaro pa si Johnny Abarrientos, we will have the oldest player on the squad," said Uichico.
“We need young players that could somehow eat up 10 to 12 minutes from our veterans and hopefully preserved our older guys for the long stretch," he added.
Ginebra’s sister team, San Miguel Beer, a squad loaded in offensive firepower, had added another marquee player in Joseph Yeo, who was plucked form Sta. Lucia in exchange for Bonbon Custodio.
Yeo will be included on a rotation that has Dondon Hontiveros, Lordy Tugade and Jonas Villanueva. The team recently added Alex Cabagnot, who will also share minutes with Denok Miranda and Olsen Racela.
Trading not yet over
More trade are expected to take place as teams get busy retooling their respective lineups before the opening of the Fiesta Conference.
A source, who requested anonymity, said that the Beermen and the Gin Kings are not done yet with their wheeling and dealing.
“San Miguel are loaded with guards while Ginebra still needs to bolster some positions," said the source. “I believe there will be more movements in the next few days," said the source.
Speaking for Ginebra, Uichico admitted there are still offers left on the table.
“There were offers on the table, but I don’t see it happening before Sunday or the next few days or weeks," said Uichico. “Bottom line, our team is not getting any younger and we want young, quality players who will play as backup for either JayJay Helterbrand or some of our veteran frontliners." – GMANews.TV