During last year's PBA Commissioner's Cup, and in an intensely competitive import-laden conference, Barako Bull made it to as far as the semi-finals series after they trounced the Alaska Aces in the quarterfinals series only to be defeated by the Talk N Text Tropang Texters. This year, they are hoping to replicate their success and improve it, if possible. To make that happen, the team got involved in a big trade involving a few other teams to acquire younger players into their lineup.
Hence, the team moniker "Manong Brigade" might no longer suit the team as they have unloaded veterans to acquire younger guys. The addition of head coach Rajko Toroman will also complete the revamping of this team. New players include JC Intal, Jonas Villanueva, Allein Maliksi, Emman Monfort, and Jojo Duncil. In addition, formerly suspended player Don Allado has re-signed with the team. In exchange, they released Leo Najorda and Lester Alvarez, along with Alex Mallari who they acquired from Petron for Ronald Tubid.
Alaska Aces Releases Baracael
Mac Baracael is one of those players that were involved in the multi-player trade in the PBA during the off-season. According to coach Luigi Trillo, it was a difficult decision to let go of the forward off of his lineup, but he had to do so for the betterment of the team as Baracael is no longer happy with his playing time with the Alaska Aces.
By giving up Baracael to the Kings, the Aces acquired Aldrech Ramos that also got little playing minutes with the San Mig Coffee Mixers. The Aces coaching staff believes that acquiring Ramos would benefit their inside play now that Sonny Thoss will have another big man to help him out.
Air 21 Trade Proposal Turned Down by TNT
With Japeth Aguilar exploring more options for his basketball career abroad, Air21 is expressing their interest to obtain a trade deal with Talk N Text in order to get the rights for Japeth Aguilar should he decide to return in the PBA. However, the trade proposal is not working out well as the Texters feel that the proposal is not appealing enough for them.
The 3-time consecutive All Filipino Cup champion Talk N Text Tropang Texters received an offer from Air 21 for Ogie Menor and Noy Baclao for Japeth Aguilar. The proposal came after this local agent has expressed Aguilar's desire to be traded from the Talk N Text team. One factor that might be causing Talk N Text to hold off on the deal is the ongoing negotations with GlobalPort involving Rabeh Al-Hussaini.