To put it simply, it was an offer NLEX could not refuse.
On Tuesday, the PBA approved a trade between the Road Warriors and NorthPort, who shipped guard Juami Tiongson to the Batang Pier in exchange for center Mike Miranda.
Miranda will make his return to NLEX following the trade. But beyond the reunion, the team agreed to NorthPort’s offer because they couldn’t pass on a chance for another big.
Still, Guiao found it difficult parting ways with Tiongson, whom he picked up from the D-League back in 2017.
“Nasasayangan kami sa opportunity to get a big man. Medyo mahirap maghanap ng big man … so kinagat na rin namin yung trade,” said coach Yeng Guiao after Gilas’ practice Wednesday.
“Bumigay kami, kumbaga,” confessed the outspoken bench strategist.
Guiao admitted that it was tough to let go of Tiongson at first, though – they even tried to make a counter-offer with second-round picks. But again, the opportunity was just too irresistible.
“Initially we did not want to lose Juami. Sabi namin, second-round pick, [pero] ayaw nilang (NorthPort) [pumayag],” said Guiao. “NorthPort needed a backup guard, napusuan nila si Juami.
“Alam nilang galing sa amin si Mike Miranda, na maganda naman ang nilalaro sa amin. Alam din nila marami kaming guwardya – security agency na nga kami eh – kaya inoffer nila,” he added.
“And we got attracted with the offer.”
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