In a transaction that just beat the trade deadline set at 12:00nn of Monday, the TNT Katropa have dealt long-time forward Ranidel De Ocampo in exchange for youthful slotmen Justin Chua and Norbert Torres through a three-team trade, the league confirmed.
The flagship MVP franchise and the Phoenix Fuel Masters initiated the deal. They traded De Ocampo to the Fuel Masters in exchange for Torres and a 2017 first round pick, which had come from a previous deal with San Miguel Beermen.
Phoenix then shipped De Ocampo to the Orangemen in exchange for Chua plus Meralco’s 2017 first-round pick. The Fuel Masters sent Chua to TNT in exchange of the latter’s 2019 second round pick — also from SMB — to finalize the deal.
The 35-year-old De Ocampo — who helped TNT earn six titles and won two Finals MVP awards in the nine years he played there — has been averaging 9.13 points on 33-percent shooting clip threes, 4.38 rebounds, and 2.63 assists this 2017 Governor’s Cup.
The 28-year-old Chua, on the other hand, only posted norms of 3.1 points, 1.9 rebounds in 9.7 minutes with the Bolts in his fourth season. Torres, meanwhile, is averaging 3.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in just 12.6 minutes in his sophomore year.
The deal, though appalling in all ways, speaks high volumes of the Katropa’s commitment to the youth movement, which started when coach Nash Racela took over the head coaching reins from Jong Uichico.