Philippine basketball

PBA approves Oftana-Rosario-Rosser trade, replaces injured Desiderio with picks

Philip Matel
PBA approves Oftana-Rosario-Rosser trade, replaces injured Desiderio with picks

BIG BOOST. Calvin Oftana gets to to play under TNT coach Chot Reyes.

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The PBA approves the controversial three-team trade among TNT, NLEX, and Blackwater with a slight adjustment: dropping embattled guard Paul Desiderio from the transaction in place of two second-round picks

MANILA, Philippines – The PBA on Monday, September 19, approved the separate three-team trade that would send versatile forward Calvin Oftana to TNT, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser to NLEX, and Troy Rosario to Blackwater.

The league’s trade committee approved the deal several days after it was proposed by the three teams, making some tweaks in the exchange.

Instead of guard Paul Desiderio, who is recovering from a knee injury, the PBA ordered the addition of Bossing’s two second-rounders (2022 and 2025), along with Ganuelas-Rosser to the Road Warriors in exchange for Oftana and big man Raul Soyud.

The Tropang Giga then obtained Oftana and Soyud in exchange for stretch four Rosario and guard Gab Banal.

Oftana, arguably the biggest prize caught in the trade, will be of huge help to coach Chot Reyes after averaging 17.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 asssists, and 1.6 steals under mentor Yeng Guiao.

A former NCAA MVP, Oftana is expected to be a rapidly growing offensive option as a swingman at the small and power forward positions, as he can score from anywhere on the floor, and has vastly improved his skills as a key cog on offense.

Reyes told Rappler he had mixed feelings about the trade, and praised the duo for their work ethic.

“Troy is the consummate pro and ideal team player. He gave us everything he had and more. Gab too never gave us any problems in the short stint he had here,” said the reigning PBA Coach of the Year.

“Such is the nature of this profession. In our desire to improve and prepare for the future, we had to make this tough, tough decision. I wish Troy and Gab the very best.”

Rosario, the second overall pick of the 2015 PBA Rookie Draft, was traded to TNT in a similarly structured triple team swap involving the Mahindra (now Terrafirma) franchise and sister team NLEX.

He won his first PBA title under Reyes during the 2021 Philippine Cup at the closed-door bubble in Bacolor, Pampanga.

The 30-year-old is expected to bring grit and leadership to a Bossing squad that managed to qualify for the All-Filipino playoffs as an eighth seed.

“Moving forward, we would like to build on our playoff run last conference. Troy and Gab give us a lot of playoff experience,” Blackwater head coach Ariel Vanguardia told Rappler.

“This is professional sports. Changes are expected. We can only be judged by the results that this will bring us. My job as a coach is to manage and make this work, that’s the challenge every coach faces,” he added.

Ganuelas-Rosser, brother of TNT forward Matt, averaged 11.1 points and 3.5 rebounds during his brief stint with Blackwater.

He brings upside as a consistent interior scorer and an improving ability to defend the rim for longer and more consistent stretches. – Rappler.com

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