Blackwater Elite already signed Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter even if the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has yet to approve the trade deal that will allow the transfer of the two rookies from the NLEX Road Warriors.
Based on a Facebook post by Chooks-to-go Pilipinas, Desiderio was joined by his manager during the signing of the contract held at Reyes Gym in Mandaluyong City on Thursday, Dec. 14.
“Actually, we are excited kasi everybody’s been signed up before the year ends. At least, for Paul, he could now focus on the job at hand. Yung nararamdaman sigurado super saya dahil part na sila ng family ng Blackwater,” Blackwater team manager Joel Co said regarding the signing.
Desiderio expressed happiness and gratitude of being offered a three-year max deal.
“Siyempre, masaya kasi three years yung binigay nila. Binigyan talaga nila ako ng chance mag-perform,” the former University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons captain said.
“Napakagrateful kasi yun nga three years. Hindi ko ine-expect na ganun kahaba yung bibigay nila,” Desiderio added.
Desiderio also promised to perform his best in his every game with the Elite.
“Wala namang pressure pero ina-aassure ko na bibigay ko yung best ko sa kanila sa bawat laro,” Desiderio said.
Meanwhile, per reports, Tratter has also signed a max-three year deal with the Elite. The former player of the De La Salle Green Archers was accompanied by representatives of the Titan Management Group in the signing of the contract.
Desiderio and Tratter were drafted by the Road Warriors during the first round of the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft on Dec. 16 at Robinson’s Place Manila.
After the draft, the Road Warriors confirmed that they plan to trade Desiderio, the no.4 overall pick, and Tratter, the no. 7 pick, in order to acquire JP Erram from the Elite.
The PBA did not approve a straight-up trade between the Road Warriors and the Elite. Instead, the league instructed the two teams to revise the deal in order to include the Talk N’ Text Katropa.
In the revised trade deal, the Elite will let go of their 2021 second round draft pick in order to get Papot Paredes from the Katropa. Paredes and Erram will then be traded from Blackwater to NLEX.
The Road Warriors, meanwhile, will let go of Desiderio, Tratter, and Mike Miranda to the Elite. Blackwater then will give Miranda to the Katropa, who will release a future a second round draft pick.