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Blackwater owner explains trades, says no plans to sell franchise

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Blackwater goes all-in on Euro style (0:43)

Blackwater Elite owner Dioceldo Sy is confident his team is better suited for Euro-style basketball with their acquisitions. (0:43)

Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy insists he has no plans of selling his PBA franchise amid the Elite's series of player movements that have baffled basketball fans.

Not a few eyebrows were raised when Sy elected to send reliable backcourt gunner Mike DiGregorio to TNT in exchange for backup playmaker Brian Heruela three weeks ago.

A week later, Blackwater shipped veteran shooter Allein Maliksi and young forward Raymar Jose for journeyman KG Canaleta and seldom-used guard MIke Tolomia, along with the Meralco Bolts' pair of future second round picks.

As if that was not enough, just before All Saint's Day break, Sy decided to send 2018 second overall PBA rookie pick Bobby Ray Parks, seen by many as the future of the Blackwater franchise to TNT in exchange for Don Trollano, injured forward Anthony Semerad, along with the KaTropa's 2021 first round pick.

In all these moves, Sy maintained that Blackwater is not "playing to lose" in the pro league. Instead, the series of player movements was part of their plan to adopt the "European style of basketball" where players pass and shoot more compared to more dribbling.

"I believe we got a better team for our planned Euro basketball system," Sy told ESPN5. "We feel we will have a better rotation and more team play because we'll have less dribble and more quick passes, more cuts, more screens and drive to the basket."

While Parks averaged over 20 points per contest in his first two conferences with the Elite, Sy feels the arrival of Trollano and Tolomia, known more as role players in their previous PBA teams, will augur well for Blackwater moving forward.

"Both Trollano and Tolomia are super underrated star players," shared the long-time sportsman-businessman. "Not many could remember that I drafted Trollano in my Blackwater team in the PBA D-League while Mike Tolomia's brother Chester played for my (PBL) champion team Shark Energy so I know them pretty well."

While the Elite kissed their Governors' Cup playoffs goodbye their narrow 99-96 loss to import-less San Miguel Beermen on Wednesday, Sy is eager to see his team perform well next season with his rejigged Blackwater roster.

"We will be strong in the All-Filipino (conference) next season," Sy said. "I can't wait to prove our critics wrong."

Blackwater absorbed its fifth straight loss following their three-point overtime decision to the Beermen as they remain in the cellar with their 2-8 record.

The Elite play their final game for the season on Nov. 15 when they face the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.