By Jonas Terrado
Kelly Nabong’s controversial stint with the San Miguel Beermen ended Thursday after the bruising forward was shipped back to NorthPort, almost two months after taking part in a fight with teammates during practice.
The Beermen decided to part ways with Nabong in exchange for the lanky Russell Escoto, who was acquired by the Batang Pier from the Columbian Dyip last August.
The deal was approved by the PBA Commissioner’s Office on Thursday.
Nabong leaves SMB more than a year after being traded from NorthPort, then known as GlobalPort, in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup.
His tenure ended on a sour note after figuring in a heated exchange that also involved then-import Dez Wells, Arwind Santos and Ronald Tubid.
San Miguel management eventually banned Nabong, Santos and Tubid indefinitely, playing a major role in the team’s quarterfinal exit in the Governors’ Cup.
A fresh start with the Batang Pier could be a chance for Nabong to redeem himself.
Nabong averaged 13.5 points and 11.0 rebounds for the Batang Pier in the 2018 Philippine Cup, bouncing back after he was suspended by Meralco due to a verbal altercation with then-assistant coach Jimmy Alapag during the 2017 Governors’ Cup semifinals.
He played six games for the Batang Pier in the Commissioner’s Cup before getting traded to the Beermen in exchange for Gabby Espinas and a future draft pick.