Adducul battles Big C; Rico traded for Pingris
- Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran () - March 27, 2008 - 12:00am

Romel Adducul, the Purefoods starting center who’s been a marquee player since his collegiate days, is diagnosed to be afflicted with nasopharynx cancer, prompting  his ballclub to initiate a blockbuster deal involving Enrico Villanueva and Mark Pingris.

Adducul, 31, who is in the early stage of the ailment, has been declared out of at least the coming Fiesta Conference as he’s now undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Adducul’s ouster led Purefoods to work on the trade which actually involved five players plus a draft pick from four ball clubs.

San Miguel Corp. used Coca-Cola as the third party as it traded Villanueva for Pingris in a major transaction three days before the start of the season-ending reinforced tourney.

Magnolia first released Villanueva and Willy Wilson to Coca-Cola in exchange for Chester Tolomia. Then Coke shipped Villanueva to Purefoods for Pingris who was then sent to Magnolia in exchange for a future draft pick.

Ginebra joined the deal by releasing Mark Macapagal to Coca-Cola for Wilson.

“Romel’s ouster was a major factor in our decision to work on the trade. Without Romel and also Omanzie Rodriguez who underwent an ACL surgery, we no longer have a legitimate center,” said Purefoods governor Rene Pardo.

“A 6-foot-5 (Villanueva) for a 6-foot-3 (Pingris) makes a big difference,” said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

Pardo, however, is hopeful Adducul can come back as he’s responding well to treatment.

“The good thing is that he’s young and athletic. Actually, he’s still joining us in practice. Lumiliit na ang bukol nya sa leeg,” said Pardo.

Pardo said Adducul felt symptoms of the cancer during the semifinals of the All-Filipino tourney.

“He was ignoring it because he wanted to help the team. When he was finally diagnosed to have cancer, at first he didn’t want it to be known by the public. He decided to let it be known after the announcement of former President Cory Aquino’s ailment,” said Pardo.

In agreeing to be the conduit in the trade involving SMC teams, Coca-Cola got Macapagal and a draft pick while losing only Tolomia. SMC ball clubs – Magnolia, Ginebra and Purefoods – are not allowed to have a direct trade deal with one another.

Meanwhile, practically all the Air21 players face possible sanction even before the start of the season-ending conference as they beat up Talk n Text import Aaron McGhee in a tumultuous tune-up game at the Sports Camp in Taguig yesterday.

“He (McGhee) had many wayward elbows thrown. Ranidel (De Ocampo) got hit early in the second quarter, and this sparked the melee,” said Air21 coach Bo Perasol.

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