LOYALTY SWAP ARCHIVES | THE PICK THAT TURNED INTO MARK BARROCA




Original blog post: August 26, 2011


Online reports suggest that B-Meg has acquired Shopinas’ fifth pick. Yup, Shopinas let their potential franchise player slip away for a random B-Meg player.


Does "random" mean James Yap?


Hell no.


Maybe Jonathan Fernandez?


Probably.


 

So I made this blog before the 2011 PBA Draft. Barako Bull and Air21 exchange franchise genealogies and the team would change their name to Shopinas Clickers.


This is the modern-day NLEX Road Warriors... although the lineage ended upon their entry.


Anyway, there was talk back then that the two teams have this "gentleman's deal" in which B-Meg would get the pick and Shopinas will have "a ton of love".


Richard Del Rosario is being looked at as the next B-Meg coach. When Ryan Gregorio left for the Meralco Bolts, the team would hand the coaching duties to former Harbour Centre coach Jorge Gallent. The former Tanduay guard might have the Midas Touch in the PBL but despite reuniting with his former Batang Pier guys like Jerwin Gaco, Jonathan Fernandez, and Rico Maierhofer, Gallent was demoted after finishing with a 20-24 record.


After the 2011 PBA Draft, Tim Cone retired as Alaska head coach... and then he became the B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados head coach.


Anyway...


BACK TO FLASHBACK!



 


The Llamados are bent on acquiring a point guard since Jonas Villanueva is injured. This means B-Meg is bent to acquire the likes of JV Casio, Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, and Chris Lutz. My guess is that they are auditioning for a possible replacement for Roger Yap who at this point is now at his prime... and will pass it in a couple of years or so.


While I’ll take a vet over a rookie anytime, I think Shopinas WILL MAKE A BIG MISTAKE if they get lured by B-Meg. Any of the Smart-Gilas players can lead Shopinas... with the exception perhaps of Jason Ballesteros because he was never really the go-to guy in San Sebastian. But then again, it seems that this trade happened when Shopinas was still Barako Bull and Chito Salud had to "honor" the trade.


It also feels like B-Meg will be letting go of a random player. It’s stupid to predict that the core of James Yap, Joe Devance, Marc Pingris, Roger Yap, Peter June Simon, and Kerby Raymundo would be let go.


If Shopinas gets any of them, then this trade is good.


My choice? Allado is an incoming free agent and Shopinas can resurrect his career but he is not enough to waste the fifth pick. If I was a Clicker brass, I’d go for either Jonas Villanueva or Rico Maierhofer. However, since both players are injured, they could go for Kerby Raymundo who is an incoming free agent. Raymundo, Allado, Rico Maierhofer, Pingris, Reavis, and Devance will clash for playing time so since Jerwin Gaco is an adequate sub, the first three names mentioned are pretty much expendable.


If Shopinas lands either Raymundo or Maierhofer in their lineup, then the Clickers stumbled on a gold mine.


If Shopinas lands Jonathan Fernandez... well, the Clickers just stumbled.


 

Back to 2021.


There is a reason why Shopinas or Air21 is not in the PBA anymore. As mentioned, Air21 turned over their franchise to The MVP Group and became the PBA incarnation of the NLEX Road Warriors.


The pick in question became Mark Barroca and The Coffee Prince at this stage of his career should be part of the league's Top 100 PBA Players of all-time with two Finals MVP trophies, six championships, one Mythical First Team and one Mythical Second Team selection, and a grand slam under the guidance of Tim Cone as well as his other deputies, Johnny Abarrientos and Olsen Racela.


In return, B-Meg gave up Don Allado... to the Barako Bull Energy.


So in order to get the green light from the PBA Office, Barako Bull also joined in by trading away Elmer Espiritu to Shopinas alongside B-Meg's second-round pick.


Shopinas would use the pick to acquire Brian Ilad...


... and after a few months, Don Allado's career would seemingly end following a Twitter rant that would hand him a record fine, a ton of downtime, and a sea of questions surrounding the controversy.



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