Still no green light for Oftana deal
The waiting game continues for teams involved in the proposed deal that will send NLEX rising star Calvin Oftana to TNT.
For the third straight day, the PBA’s trade committee remained at an impasse on whether to allow the deal that involves Oftana and five others, with Blackwater playing its usual role as conduit to the two teams owned by the MVP Group.
Oftana, meanwhile, took a break from NLEX’s preparation for the upcoming Commissioner’s Cup due to personal reasons.
The sophomore forward had played for the Road Warriors in an exhibition with South Korean side LG Sakers on Wednesday, the same day the deal was struck between the three ballclubs.
But insiders said that Oftana left for Dumaguete City the following day due to the passing of his grandfather.
It remains a mystery if Oftana will still be a Road Warrior once he flies back to Manila.
Under the conditions of the swap, Oftana and Raul Soyud will head to TNT, with the former expected to be a major piece for a squad that is eager to bounce back from its loss to San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Cup Finals.
Oftana has flourished into one of the promising standouts of the big league since being drafted third overall by NLEX in the 2021 Draft for his ability to play both inside and at the perimeter.
The Tropang Giga gave up longtime forward Troy Rosario, who has been with the MVP Group’s flagship franchise since being picked second in the 2015 draft, in the swap along with reserve Gab Banal to the Bossing.
Blackwater, on the other hand, is sending rookie Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and controversial guard Paul Desiderio, currently on the injured list, to NLEX.
Shipping Ganuelas-Rosser has raised questions since the league announced in 2018 that it will prohibit the trading of the No. 1 pick in the draft, though there’s some confusion if it was an existing rule or just a mere proposal.
One team owner—Raymond Yu of Rain or Shine—explained that the no-trade rule was made as an offshoot of Kia’s controversial decision to send its right to choose Christian Standhardinger as the first pick of the 2017 draft to San Miguel Beer.