MANILA, Philippines - After last night's games, you would have to ask yourself, was the SMB-Air21 trade a costly one? Two teams which figured in a blockbuster trade have not yet won a single game after exchanging players and considering that this is a short PBA elimination round tourney, the timing couldn't have come at a better time.
Let us take the two team's perspectives. First that of San Miguel.
There is no question that San Miguel is an aging lineup. And after two runner-up finishes, one can only wonder what is going on in the minds of the San Miguel management side. They are indeed a powerhouse team but against the younger, athletic, speedier and versatile players, they are sitting ducks.
Add to the fact that San Miguel has a tradition to keep. They are among the elite PBA ballclubs who have won many championships and sacrificing a conference or two is not that a big deal for the company. It is similar to saying that it is better to incur losses now, reap the profits later.
Such is the case with the influx of new blood in Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Noy Baclao and Rey Guevarra to go with existing prime stalwarts like Jay Washington, Arwind Santos, Joseph Yeo and Alex Cabagnot among others.
The current SMB lineup, barring any future deals, is the PBA team of the future. The rewards may not be felt now but it will certainly be the case once the young guns finally gain the experience and hit their mark.
As for Air21, we have a ballclub aching to make its mark in the PBA. They have yet to win a championship and with four high-caliber players in Danny Seigle, Dondon Hontiveros, Dorian Pena and Paul Artadi the dream of copping that PBA crown is within reach.
The Express are in the adjustment stage, something that was expected for a team that was not even favored prior to the tournament. At 1-3 they still do have a chance to make it to the next round but like the Beermen, they have to start winning their games.
For the Beermen who are now at 1-4, they are in danger of missing out the next round. The daunting task of having to win all of their remaining games seems to be a hard one and not even reinforcement Danny Young or perhaps another super import can save them from impending disaster.
Checking on the social networks, the fans are pretty much disappointed and restless. They question the trade and the timing of such a critical transaction. Many have hit management, particularly that of the San Miguel Beer squad for such a PBA trade which has placed their favorite team in an unlikely predicament.
But as stated earlier, this is likewise a PBA undertaking and traditions need to be kept. Sacrificing loyal and marquee players are included for such a big investment and if the price is right, profits and success will always be the important thing in the end.