The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters shipped disgruntled guard Jericho Cruz to the TNT KaTropa in exchange for rookie forward Sidney Onwubere and a 2018 first round pick.
The trade was agreed to in principle by both camps early Tuesday afternoon.
Cruz did not play in the Elasto Painters' last game in Pangasinan, a 101-95 victory over the Magnolia Hotshots. The shifty guard, who was named the league's Most Improved Player in 2016 after averaging 12.5 points per game, had reportedly expressed his desire to be reunited with his old coach Yeng Guiao, who now calls the shots for the NLEX Road Warriors.
In the end, though, Rain or Shine chose to deal him to NLEX's sister team.
Cruz, the ninth overall pick in the 2014 rookie draft, has seen his playing time dwindle this conference. He is averaging a career-low 2.0 points in just 13 minutes per game. He will be competing for minutes in a loaded TNT backcourt that already has Jayson Castro, RR Garcia, RR Pogoy, Ryan Reyes, and Alfrancis Tamsi.
Onwubere was picked eighth overall in last year's rookie draft by the Phoenix Fuel Masters before being traded in the offseason to the KaTropa. He has struggled to get minutes on a veteran TNT team, appearing in just five games and averaging only 1.6 points per outing. He could see more action with the Elasto Painters, where minutes are more evenly distributed among the players.