For Norman Black and the Meralco Bolts, it’s an opportunity to shore up their frontline. For the Blackwater Elite, it’s time to get a dependable floor leader.
On Thursday, the PBA finally approved the trade between Baser Amer and Mac Belo, but not after the league’s trading committee made a revision that also sent back up center Bryan Faundo to the Elite in one of the few player movements which happened the past week.
The PBA made the announcement on its official website and the Manila Standard also got confirmation from Meralco coach Norman Black and Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy on the finalized deal.
“When you want something, you need to give up something, that’s the reality,” Black said in a telephone interview.
Amer has been the Bolts’ most consistent point guard and has been instrumental in the team’s two of the three finals runs in the Governors’ Cup.
But Black believes that in giving up Amer, he’ll have a chance to upgrade his frontcourt by getting Belo, a former top overall rookie pick who was also a key figure in Far Eastern University’s championship run a few years ago in the UAAP.
“We have six big men in our line up following the acquisition of Belo and we’re speaking here of quality frontliners—Raymond Almazan, Cliff Hodge, Reynel Hugnatan, Michael Cañete, who will be joining us finally, Jamer Jamito, and forward Reymar Jose. We have Belo and Cañete who are more of a twinner, so it means they can play both forward spots. I like the upgrading that we’re doing,” added Black.
For Sy, getting Amer means finally having a consistent point guard.
“We didn’t have a consistent point guard ever since we joined the PBA,” he added. “At tsaka si Baser, gusto ko siya dati pa nung nasa San Beda siya. Kapag kalaban naman namin 'yung team niya na Meralco, siya 'yung madalas pumapatay sa amin. Walang kunsensya.”
Getting Faundo in the trade, according to Sy, is a bonus as the team will have added ceiling.
“He played for us in 2014, but he’s a more matured player now. He’s got a decent perimeter shooting,” added Sy.