When the news broke out on Tuesday that the Alaska Aces had sent franchise player Calvin Abueva to the Phoenix Fuel Masters in exchange for Karl Dehesa and a 2019 first round draft pick, netizens cried that it was an unfair deal.
For the fans, it was lopsided in the sense that Abueva – who is considered one of the PBA’s faces and one of the most polarizing figures in the local hoops scene – was just traded for Dehesa, who has always been a role player.
Fuel Masters head coach Louie Alas said that everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but he doesn’t think that the deal deserves to be called unfair, and explained why.
“Pwedeng sabihin nila kasi entitled naman sila sa opinion nila eh pero tandaan mo, ‘yung kinukuha namin, tinetrade nila, ibig sabihin… kumbaga yung problema nila, tinutulungan pa naming makuha,” said the mentor.
“Then ‘yung pick na binibigay namin sa kanila basing on our last three years na ano, ang worst nun number three yun. Yung number three, parang lottery na ‘yan, lottery pick na ‘yan. So we’ll never know kung kasing galing nila Calvin ‘yan.
“Baka mas magaling pa kay Calvin ‘yan. So paano nila pwede sabihin na ganun?” Alas pointed out.
This isn’t the first time that the Fuel Masters have become the talk of the town with the way they do trades. Months ago, Phoenix made noise when they traded Jeff Chan to the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel for a 2018 first-rounder.
For Alas, it’s not on the Fuel Masters, but on the league’s trade committee, who convenes and decides on trades if it is a go or not.
“And isa pa, ‘yung kay Jeff ano.. sabi nila hindi rin fair ‘yung trade. Eh bakit pinayagan nila? ‘Di ba? So where’s the consistency there?” said the outspoken mentor, who’s in his third conference with Phoenix. “Ang amin lang, win-win.
“New beginning ni Calvin, sila [Alaska] new beginning din without Calvin and we’re giving hindi basta-basta pick; that’s a lottery pick. So I guess more than enough ‘yun,” added the Aces’ former assistant coach.
Another issue being raised over the Fuel Masters with the trade is the speculation that Phoenix will ship Abueva to a San Miguel Corporation-owned team soon, particularly to the Barangay Ginebra.
Alas, however, made it clear that Phoenix had acquired the 30-year-old for them and them alone.
“Bakit naman ‘di nila sinasabing sa MVP? Bakit doon lang nila sinasabi? Baka ang nasa isip nila ano kami… San Miguel team. Yun yung unang-unang tinanong ko dito nung before I signed that – San Miguel ba tayo? Hindi talaga,” said Alas.
“Me, myself, napatunayan ko ‘yan. Talagang independent team ‘to. Now, if Calvin is doing well, ba’t mo ite-trade yan? ‘Di ba? So kinuha namin si Calvin para sa Phoenix, period.”
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