MANILA, Philippines – Controversial guard Paul Desiderio has retired from the PBA, Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy confirmed on Monday, September 19.
This development comes on the heels of the league’s approval of a blockbuster three-team trade that would have sent Desiderio to NLEX – the same team that drafted him in 2018 before being immediately shipped to Blackwater.
However, the PBA nixed the original transaction involving NLEX, Blackwater, and TNT, and instead replaced the injured Desiderio with two second-round picks, which are now with the Road Warriors along with 2021 No. 1 pick Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser.
Meanwhile, there were no changes to the other parts of the trade, as rising star Calvin Oftana and veteran big man Raul Soyud are now officially headed to the Tropang Giga, while the Bossing have received champion forward Troy Rosario and journeyman swingman Gab Banal.
In his last full conference, Desiderio averaged 7.4 points on 36% shooting, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.9 assists at the 2021 Governors’ Cup before tearing his ACL last June 1 – a few days before the start of the 2022 Philippine Cup.
More than a month later on July 13, the former UP team captain was then involved in a controversy after his estranged spouse Agatha Uvero accused him of physical and emotional abuse. Desiderio denied the allegations and said he was willing to cooperate with all investigations.
Formerly a fan favorite collegiate star, Desiderio rose to fame after helping dig the Fighting Maroons out of a lengthy losing spell onto renewed success. UP peaked under his captainship with its first UAAP finals appearance in 32 years back in 2018 before ultimately falling to eventual Season 80 champion Ateneo.
As of posting, Desiderio has not replied after being sought for comments on the matter. – Rappler.com