MANILA, Philippines - The San Miguel Beermen and GlobalPort Batang Pier have agreed on a trade that will see guards Sol Mercado and Alex Cabagnot switch places on Wednesday, December 10.
The trade comes after a prior agreed upon swap between the Beermen and Barako Bull Energy was disallowed by the PBA after Commissioner Chito Salud deemed the deal "unfair." The trade would have sent Mercado to Barako in exchange for guard Denok Miranda.
Instead, SMB, which stands at 9-2 and with the no. 1 seed entering the 2014-2015 PBA Philippine Cup playoffs, will receive Cabagnot, who played with the Beermen franchise from 2010-2013 before getting dealt to GlobalPort. This conference, Cabagnot is averaging 15.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 5.0 APG.
In addition to Mercado, who's putting up 6.2 PPG and 2.8 RPG, the Batang Pier will also receive San Miguel's second-round draft picks in 2018 and 2019.
GlobalPort finished their elimination round campaign at 5-6 and will take on Barangay Ginebra San Miguel with a twice-to-beat disadvantage in the playoffs.
The two scoring guards were first dealt for each other when they headlined a 4-team, 7-man trade back in February 2014.
Sol Mercado was visibly unhappy with the trade going on a Twitter tirade right after the deal was announced.
#SACRIFICE — Solomon Mercado (@M3rcMyWords) December 10, 2014
I can put up stats that show on the sheet but not in the win column but I rather put up stats that don't show on the sheet but end in a W! — Solomon Mercado (@M3rcMyWords) December 10, 2014
Although his numbers have taken a nosedive, had he not been traded, Mercado would be playing in the first PBA semifinals of his career.
Mercado went on his Twitter rant using a romantic relationship metaphor to describe the trade.
When I came over I was told to NOT do what the ex gf did... #SACRIFICE — Solomon Mercado (@M3rcMyWords) December 10, 2014
Who goes back to an ex gf that they had problems with when they are happily married in their current relationship as the #1 couple? — Solomon Mercado (@M3rcMyWords) December 10, 2014
"The Sol train" would need to lick his wounds quickly and recover from the deal as GlobalPort is set to face Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Friday, December 12. Ginebra holds the twice-to-beat advantage.
Alex Cabagnot will be going back to essentially the same team that traded him away early this year with the only new faces being rookie Ronald Pascual and point guard Jeric Fortuna.
The 32-year-old point guard was a key figure in the franchise's 2011 PBA Governors' Cup championship when the team was still known as the Petron Blaze Boosters.
Cabagnot adds firepower to an already loaded San Miguel team. He has proven to be a much better and more reliable perimeter shooter than Mercado but what remains to be seen is if this will affect the Beermen's negatively who appeared dominant losing only twice during the elimination round.
- with reports from Ryan Songalia and Rodneil Quiteles/Rappler.com