Petron Blaze, Air21 eye Fajardo, crack Fil-Ams
- Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran () - May 14, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Petron Blaze (formerly San Miguel Beer) and Air21 have traded future picks in their effort to get better chances of acquiring good young talents from the PBA draft in 2012 and 2013.

The two teams most probably want a crack at Cebuano behemoth Junmar Fajardo or anyone from a slew of promising Fil-Am players now taking residency in the PBA Developmental League.

Petron acquired Air21’s two first-round draft picks in 2012 in exchange for the former’s first round picks in 2012 and 2013.

The Express own two 2012 first-round picks, including one originally from Barako Bull which the Lina Group franchise acquired in a past trade deal involving Japeth Aguilar.

Air21 also entered into a separate trade agreement with Alaska Milk involving Wesley Gonzales and Elmer Espiritu. The deal awaits the approval of PBA commissioner Chito Salud.

Among Fil-foreign players now paying residency in D-League are Pharex’s Jason Deustchman and N-LEX’s Cody Tesoro, Chris Ellis, Karl Dehasa and Cliff Hodge.

The earliest these players can play in the PBA is 2012 as a result of the new draft policy crafted by the league commissioner and approved by the board.

The 2011 PBA Rookie Draft is essentially close to Fil-foreign players, except Smart Gilas Pilipinas mainstays Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter.

Under the league’s new draft policy, Fil-foreign players must have played at least two conferences in the D-League to be eligible for the annual draft.

By 2012, homegrown players must also play at least one conference in the D-League to be eligible in the draft.

Meanwhile, Arizona Reid III, winner of the US NCAA Big South Conference Player of the Year honors for two consecutive years, will be Rain or Shine’s import in the coming PBA Governors Cup.

Reid is arriving on May 19, and his sterling credentials and good reputation give the Elasto Painters high hopes they can improve on their Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals finish.

“He’s a power forward who works hard and consistently churns out double-double numbers,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

Earlier, Air21, Meralco and B-MEG Derby Ace confirmed their bringing back old imports Alpha Bangura, Champ Oguchi and Courtney Beasley.

Barangay Ginebra is after Curtis Stinson of Iowa State, Talk n Text has Scottie Reynolds of Villanova U as a top option while Powerade, Petron (formerly SMB) and Alaska are still looking for good prospects.

The Elasto Painters just won’t let Reid slip away from them.

Reid carved a great niche for the High Point Panthers in collegiate basketball before playing pro hoops in Italy, Australia and Lebanon.

In his senior year at High Point U in 2008, Reid captured the Big South Conference Player of the Year honors for the second time, only the third player in the conference to win it in consecutive seasons.

He led the conference in rebounds (11.0) and ranked second in scoring (23.9) to easily make the First Team All-Big South for the third straight year.

The previous season, he became the first player in Big South history to reach the 1,800-point/900-rebound club.

He ranked first in BSC in rebounds and was the second leading scorer, emerging the only other player outside of Kevin Durant to average at least 21 points and nine rebounds.

He established conference all-time records of most rebounds in a game (25) and most rebounds in a career (1,014).

Reid went to High Point from Gaffney, South Carolina where he was a four-year varsity player at Gaffney High School.

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