Free agent Gelo Alolino found a new home in Blackwater and immediately signed a one-year pact with the team that has dismantled its core after trading away Poy Erram, vastly-improved John Pinto, and Paul Zamar.
Erram, Pinto, and Zamar are now with NLEX, Phoenix, and San Miguel, respectively.
Alolino was part of the original trade between Blackwater and Phoenix that would have sent him and Joseph Eriobu to the Elite for Pinto. In the revised deal, only Eriobu was shipped to the Elite while Alolino was dropped from the lineup.
It will be a fresh start for Alolino, who was shelved for the most of last season after undergoing a surgery that removed bone spurs on his right ankle.
Alolino told ESPN5 he is thrilled to don the Elite jersey once the PBA unfurls on January 13 at the Philippine Arena.
"I'm excited and happy to be with Blackwater. I'm looking forward to make a contribution to the team," Alolino said.
The former National University star, who led the team to the UAAP championship in 2014 to end a 60-year title drought, normed 8.8 points, 1.4 points, and 2.3 points per game in the elimination round of the Philippine Cup before being sidelined.
He vows to make the most of this new opportunity and help the team that wound up fifth in the Governors' Cup last season behind import Henry Walker. He will join the team's local crew bannered by Allein Maliksi, Mike DiGregorio, and Mac Belo.
"Of course I still need to adapt to coach Bong Ramos' system," he said in Filipino. "I'm thankful for the opportunity given to me. I'm excited to be on the court again, to be back from injury."