Controversial Oftana trade still hangs
Two of the three teams involved in the much-discussed Calvin Oftana trade hope to finally see the move get the PBA nod of approval with action set to resume at midweek with the Commissioner’s Cup.
The proposed deal that will send the rising sophomore forward to TNT remained in limbo as the league’s trade committee deferred from making a decision over the weekend.
League officials, including PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and deputy Eric Castro, who is part of the trade committee, were in Japan after meeting with counterparts from the B.League.
With the midseason tournament tipping off on Wednesday, the pending trade may force Blackwater and NLEX to scramble their preparations for their scheduled matches this week.
Oftana did play for the Road Warriors in a tuneup game against South Korea’s LG Sakers, scoring 36 points in a losing cause.
That stat alone is a clear indication of how much NLEX will miss his services and how TNT will greatly welcome the versatile forward if the deal gets a thumbs up.
Blackwater faces the guest team Bay Area Dragons in the opener at Mall of Asia Arena, while NLEX takes on former coach Yeng Guiao and Rain or Shine on Friday at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Question on No. 1
Should the six-player trade push through, the Road Warriors will get rookie center Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, a high-energy player, from the Bossing.
Trading Rosser earlier raised questions if Blackwater is allowed to deal the No. 1 pick within the period of two years, but the league said the rule was only proposed in the aftermath of the controversial Christian Standhardinger deal in 2017 and was never approved.
Longtime TNT forward Troy Rosario will head to Blackwater as part of the deal in order for the Tropang Giga to secure the services of Oftana.
Rosario was two weeks removed from suiting up for the Tropang Giga in their loss to the San Miguel Beermen in the deciding seventh game of the Philippine Cup Finals.
TNT, on the other hand, won’t be playing until Oct. 5 against Magnolia at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Players involved in the trade continue to train with their current teams, though Oftana had to travel back to his hometown of Dumaguete City due to the loss of his grandfather. INQ