Cone has mixed feelings on Salva trade talks
As of now, Nico Salva is still a Gin King.
Coach Tim Cone acknowledged the off-season trade talks, but made it clear that the Ateneo stud is still with the team.
“As of this point, Nico’s with us,” he said. “It’s no secret there were a few things in place with Meralco and it didn’t work out. Whether that’s dead or not, I’m not sure. That’s been a management-to-management proposal.”
Salva still attended the Gin Kings’ first practice session at Upper Deck Gym in Pasig on Friday.
He was reportedly on his way to Meralco, where he could have had a reunion with his former coach Norman Black.
Whatever happens, Cone sees it as a win-win situation for the incoming third-year.
“If we move him, I’d be delighted for him because I know he wants to get out, spread his wings, and get playing time. But if we don’t move him, then I’d be delighted for me because I really want to keep him around,” he said.
Used sparingly this past season, Salva averaged 2.12 points and 1.0 rebound in 6.25 minutes this year.
If he stays with the 2016 Governors’ Cup champs, his chances of having more playing time isn’t likely to change, especially with rookie Kevin Ferrer now part of the squad.
Cone thinks that for Salva, it’s just a matter of seizing the opportunities given to him, the same way some of the former players did under his tutelage.
“Some players take a little longer to learn the system. I remember when we had Tony dela Cruz (in Alaska) and he couldn’t do anything in the first year he was with us with the triangle. And then after the first year, he became our best guy in terms of execution,” he recounted.
“Nico’s got all the skills and the personality that we like, but we’re deep in his position. We got Chris (Ellis), Aljon (Mariano), and now Kevin, so it’s a battle among the four of them.”
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