Well, the huge blockbuster deal that sent top rookies Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Nonoy Baclao and Rey Guevarra to San Miguel Beer was finally approved by the PBA Commissioner (after some revisions to level the playing field), and we've had the chance to see the players debut for their new teams last week.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Nonoy Baclao, Rey Guevarra
Now admittedly, this trade is not one with the present in mind. For SMB, this was all about the future as they replace aging pieces with some of the brightest young talent in Philippine hoops. These three were the first three picks in the 2010 PBA Draft (although Guevarra may have been a bit of reach at #3). Still, the package the Beermen gave up combined to start 10 games in the All-Filipino Finals last conference, so these guys will have some expectations to perform right away.
And in their debut? Meh.
Rabeh scored 10 points on 4 of 12 shooting, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and a block in 32 minutes. Not a bad performance, but also nothing special. Baclao played 5 short minutes where he missed a shot, turned the ball over once and fouled twice. Guevarra didn't play in the 90-89 win over Meralco.
Dondon Hontiveros, Danny Seigle, Dorian Pena, Paul Artadi
Now, the Air21 haul is probably one that is built to "win now". And they're going to have to, since the rumors are that Air21 won't be around for much longer.
And though they fell short of doing any actual winning, falling 124-110 to Talk N Text, the new Express looked pretty darn good. The former Beermen combined for 54 points, 22 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks and 5 threes. Hontiveros scored his 20th point with over 7 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter. Pena grabbed 13 boards (9 offensive) in just 28 minutes.
And old Dynamite Danny? He played just 24 minutes, many of them sloppy, but he brought it. He produced 21 points (on .538 TS%), 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per 36 minutes, though he never would have made 36 considering he was at 6 TOs and 7.5 fouls per 36 as well.
Looking at the Numbers
Al-Hussaini and Baclao are prime talents. In their very first conference, both posted identical PERs of 16.3 (situated somewhere in between Asi Taulava and Jason Castro). And both guys will get much better. They find themselves in a much better situation now where their team will rely on them less, but also give them plenty of opportunity to play deep into the playoffs.
But to get these guys, SMB gave up two guys in the Top 20 in PER in Hontiveros (20.4, 12th in the PBA) and Seigle (19.6, 17th) alongside two very serviceable players in Pena (4th in Rebounds per 36, 2nd in Offensive Rebounds per 36) and Artadi.
The new Air21 Express may have lost their debut, but they also lost to the All-Filipino champions, and with the Express import giving them practically nothing on the floor. It was an impressive showing for Seigle, et al., and I'm looking forward to seeing more of these guys in Ube. In the long run, San Miguel definitely gets the better of this deal. But I don't know how you can't like this deal for the Express.