The Lassiter Trade

The reported that both the impending sale of the Coke franchise and the Lassiter trade did not materialize. Of the two, basketball fans are more concerned about the latter.

The Lassiter trade getting vetoed is indeed a welcome development. When the  news about the trade  circulated, it really made many wonder why such a move was conceived. It was not just untimely, it also defied basketball logic.

Why was there an attempt to remove one vital cog that enabled the Powerade team to demolish their competitors and  surprisingly barge into the Finals of the recently-concluded PBA All-Filipino Cup? Is that a way to reward a team for such hardwork and accomplishment?

They may have not bagged the championship having bowed in five games  to the Talk and Text Tropang Texters, a team which has a much deeper bench, but they have earned something more important than the trophy – the respect and admiration of many PBA fans. They became more than champions. And if they would continue playing in the  way they have been doing  they may eventually supplant the Ginebra Gin Kings as the darling of the crowd.

But why remove one of the authors of the recent PBA success.

Why was there an attempt to break the newly-formed triumvirate of Gary David, Jayvee Cassio and Marcio Lassiter?

This came on the heels of the purported sale of the Coke franchise to the San Miguel Corportation. Was it an attempt on the part of the  beer conglomerate to strengthen what seems to be its banner team in the PBA – The Petron Blaze Boosters – to make it more competitive against the Talk-and-Text which is seemingly becoming its nemesis?

Even if the said sale of the Coke franchise was yet to be approved at that time the San Miguel Corporation was perceived to be trying to influence the movement of the players.

Just imagine trading  a player of Lassiter’s caliber in exchange of two Petron Blaze Boosters, namely Noy Baclao and Rey Guevarra. It may be true that the said players are nos. 1 and No.3 draft picks during the 2011 Rookie Draft but when it comes to quality of play their being seldom used is an indicator.

So, why break a formidable threesome (David, Cassio and Lassiter) when it is just beginning to work wonders for the Powerade in particular and the PBA in general. Why fix when it ain’t broke? Why tinker with an effective system.

It takes time to form a competitive team. It’s like piecing up a difficult puzzle. Coaches and trainers have to work so hard and so long to put together players who could work as a cohesive unit. Now that a team like Powerade have finally come of age, it is quite a surprise that such a move of removing a piece of a  solved puzzle was made. This seems unhealthy for the league.

It’s good that the PBA Board, in this particular issue, did not  subscribe to their tagline “Kampihan Na.” By vetoing the proposed trade the PBA Board strengthened  the integrity of the PBA. It also  gave the Powerade a chance to continue in its winning ways. And at the rate the team is performing they may soon tuck in their belts  a championship.

Perhaps, the Powerade’s first game in the current PBA tourney (where they came back from a 17- point deficit early in the second half to eventually nail the win, a game they won in yet again a dramatic fashion;  a win they clinched despite all the uncertainties they were facing; and a win that perhaps won for them a hundred or two more fans)  may have convinced the members of the PBA Board that these Tigers are for real, that approving the purported deal is the most foolish thing the PBA may have made had it pushed through. Thanks God it did not.



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