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Terrafirma says it traded star player to be more competitive

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter

ADDITION by subtraction.

That seems to be the reason behind the decision of Terrafirma Dyip in trying to send star player CJ Perez to another Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) team; a move that is currently the center of much talk in the league.

On Friday, the Dyip rocked the PBA with its decision to send top player and league scoring leader Perez to San Miguel for three role players and the Beermen’s first-round pick in this year’s rookie draft set for March 14.

It was a decision that brought out mixed reactions, particularly from the fans, with some expressing their disagreement to the deal, viewing it as “one-sided” that needed to be revised if not disallowed altogether.

The deal that will send Mr. Perez to San Miguel for role players Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Russel Escoto, Gelo Alolino and the Beermen’s rookie pick (no. 8) in this year’s draft was already sent to the PBA office and is in the process of being evaluated by the league’s trade committee.

Speaking on The Chasedown program on Cignal TV on Saturday, Terrafirma governor Bobby Rosales moved to explain their decision to trade Mr. Perez, saying it is a not popular move but something needed to be done from their end.

The PBA vice-chairman said Terrafirma is looking to find the needed pieces to be “complete” and competitive, and after reviewing their program, they came to a conclusion to make the tough decision to trade away their best player to see their recalibration through.

“The decision [to trade CJ] started after the bubble conference. We can say it was a disappointing showing for us. We were expecting good things as management thought we had the materials to at least be competitive. But it did not happen,” said Mr. Rosales, whose club finished last anew with a 1-10 record in the lone PBA tournament last year.

“So after the conference, the management was disappointed. So we reviewed our program. It was a long process for the management and the coaches. So we came to a conclusion that we still have missing pieces and we needed certain players,” he added.

Mr. Rosales admitted that getting players they need would not be easy and that they had to come up with a strategy that would give them more options.

“Without question, CJ Perez is a good player and it would be hard to compare him to other players. But the strategy was to complete the team. And to get something of value, you have to give away something of value,” he said.

The Terrafirma team official said they are high on the eighth pick they will be getting from San Miguel, in addition to the top overall pick they hold, considering how talent-rich this year’s rookie draft pool is.

“We have a lot of positions to fill and we have to look for ways to go about it and one of which is the rookie draft. Unfortunately, we have only one pick in the first round then we next pick in the third round. There are so many talents in the pool in this year’s draft and we don’t want to miss out on that,” Mr. Rosales said.

“We have a list of players we are looking at. But we know we are weak in the center position. And we need height and firepower.”

Terrafirma received trade feelers from other teams as well, Mr. Rosales said without elaborating, but nothing concrete came out of them.

Given the flak they have been getting from fans for their decision, Mr. Rosales said they believe it is a fair trade and they hope it works for them.

“Many will not agree with it and we respect their opinion, but it’s a legitimate trade that will go through the process.”

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