Meralco says trade with Blackwater ‘beneficial to both teams’

Published February 4, 2021, 7:05 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Meralco head coach Norman Black (MB File Photo)

Meralco stressed that its three-player trade with Blackwater is a win-win situation for the two teams as they gear up for the upcoming 46th season of the PBA. 

This after the league trade committee headed by deputy commissioner Eric Castro approved on Thursday, February 4, the transaction dealing Mac Belo to the Bolts and Baser Amer to the Elite after Meralco added veteran forward Bryan Faundo in the package. 

“We believe this trade is beneficial to both teams and will provide both players competitive environments to showcase their talents,” the Bolts’ management said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page. 

“As an organization, we remain committed to fair and exciting competition,” it added. 

Meralco head coach Norman Black said the addition of the 27-year-old, 6-foot-4 forward Belo is a huge boost to their frontcourt that has key players Raymond Almazan, Cliff Hodge and Reynel Hugnatan. 

“We recruited Mac Belo because our frontcourt is one of the areas where we need depth. We welcome him to the team and look forward to seeing his impact in our team,” the grand slam-winning coach said as quoted in the same statement. 

With the addition of the top overall pick in the 2016 Special Draft, the Bolts are seeking to sustain the gains from their historic first semifinal appearance in an all-Filipino conference during the Philippine Cup bubble last year. 

Black also took the time to express his gratitude to the 28-year-old playmaker Amer, who was selected by Meralco as the seventh pick in the 2015 Draft, as well as the 36-year-old Faundo, who returned to the Bolts in 2015 after playing a season with them in 2011.  

“I’ve been with Baser for a long time so it was difficult to come to this decision. He’s a valuable point guard and has been a big part of our team for the last five years. We are very, very thankful and grateful for his service,” said the 63-year-old mentor. 

“We’re also thankful for Bryan’s service to the team. He’s been with us for five years and Bryan has been a really important part of the Bolts.” 
“To gain something of value, you unfortunately must lose something of value as well. We thank Baser and Bryan, and we recognize all of their contributions. We wish them nothing but the best in their career.”