Paul Zamar is now with San Miguel, Ronald Tubid reunites with old friends, Brian Heruela has a chance to flex with his new squad, and Terrence Romeo makes the Beermen even more dynamic and combustible.
How did San Miguel fare following a week of wheeling and dealing? What happens to Blackwater, Columbian, and TNT? Trade grades are in!
BLACKWATER AND SMB
Blackwater: Acquired the rights to San Miguel's 2021 and 2022 second round draft picks.
San Miguel: Acquired the rights to Paul Zamar.
In his first full conference in the PBA, Zamar showed he deserved his spot in the league, averaging 10.0 points, 1.6 on 3-pointer (38 percent), 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists. His experience playing across Asia and with all kinds of teams allowed him to hit the ground running when he made his way to the Blackwater Elite.
Even though Blackwater failed to advance past the quarterfinals once again, they were tabbed as a team for the future because of their depth in all positions. Zamar was supposedly a big part of that future.
That's why this trade is so confusing for the Elite. Perhaps the Elite look at Zamar as a 31-year-old player that has already reached his peak with no more improvement left to be made. By trading him for future second-round draft picks, they now have two chances to strike gold and find someone younger who could replicate Zamar's production.
They could also be opening up the spot to give their younger players more opportunities. Ael Banal has barely made an impact in two years in the PBA. And Blackwater appears close to a deal to acquire Paul Desiderio. With Zamar gone, it's time for someone else to step up.
However, if there's one thing that the league has shown, it's that talent and youth make for good highlight plays, but it's not a solution to long-term winning. That's a huge reason why San Miguel has been so good for so long, and why they decided to pull the trigger on the Zamar trade. Because they traded away key bench player Brian Heruela to get Terrence Romeo in a separate trade, they needed a stabilizer in Zamar. Though he's not as strong and speedy as Heruela, Zamar will provide a nice steady presence alongside whoever among the Romeo-Cabagnot-Ross backcourt will come off the bench.
San Miguel: B
COLUMBIAN AND SMB
Columbian: Acquired the rights to Keith Agovida.
San Miguel: Acquired the rights to Ronald Tubid.
There's a clip from Fast and the Furious 7 where Paul Walker and Vin Diesel are in separate cars, and they look at each other with love and tears in their eyes as they go on one last ride.
This is the trade equivalent of that meme. San Miguel missed Tubid, and The Saint missed San Miguel.
One. Last. Ride.
San Miguel: It's been a long day, without you my friend.
Columbian: And I'll tell you all about it when I see you again.
TNT AND SMB
TNT: Acquired the rights to David Semerad, Brian Heruela, and San Miguel's 2021 first-round draft pick.
San Miguel: Acquired the rights to Terrence Romeo.
ESPN5's Carlo Pamintuan did an excellent job of breaking down why Terrence Romeo and TNT weren't a good fit for each other, and why it has a chance to work out with San Miguel.
On paper, it doesn't appear TNT got much in exchange for Romeo. David Semerad has been out injured much of his career, and that 2021 first-round pick from the Beermen will probably remain in the No. 10 to 12 range as long as June Mar Fajardo can still lace up his shoes.
The key piece in the deal is Brian Heruela. His numbers in three years with San Miguel won't pop out, but that's understandable because he was playing behind Finals MVPs and BPCs at his position. But with the KaTropa, he will be the first guard off the bench, or could even start games to allow Jayson Castro to have an impact against second units.
Heruela has always been looked at as a player who is capable of doing more. Now with TNT, he'll have every opportunity to show that he can be a consistent performer. The team will need him to be a big-time contributor. They might have fixed the off-court chemistry with the Romeo trade, but they still traded away a scorer who put up 20 points a game. Those kinds of players are very rare in the PBA.
San Miguel: B+