Cyrus Baguio is leaving the team he has helped win 2 league championships after playing for the Alaska Aces the last 6 years.
The high-flying former University of Santo Tomas stalwart has been traded by Alaska to Phoenix in exchange for a pair of 2nd round draft picks, just 2 days before the PBA’s Governors Cup officially kicks off at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The office of the Commissioner approved the trade on Wednesday.
The durable veteran shooting guard, a long-time vital cog for the Aces during the Uytengsu franchise’s title run in the 2010 Fiesta Conference and the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup, will be moving over to a Phoenix side that is looking to surround its inexperience core with several veterans.
New Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia said Baguio’s arrival will ensure the Fuel Masters of a reliable scoring option come crunch time, especially since wingman JC Intal will be out till September due to an ankle injury.
“Si Cyrus naman tingin ko he’s good for 2 to 3 more years since we know maalaga naman siya sa katawan niya, wala siyang bisyo and I believe he fits our system,” Vanguardia told FOX Sports on Wednesday.
Vanguardia, fresh from leading the KL Dragons to the 2016 Asean Basketball League championships last March, said the injury of Intal forced them to look for a dependable scorer.
The soft-spoken Phoenix mentor the idea of trading for the 35-year-old Baguio came up last month. But since Alaska coach Alex Compton had to leave with Gilas for its Europe training camp, the trade plans had to be shelved temporarily.
“Ngayong natapos na nga yung sa Gilas, saka na namin na-finalize yung trade,” he added.
Now in his 13th season in the PBA, Baguio will be joining his 5th team after playing for Red Bull, Air21, Ginebra and Alaska.
He’ll more likely make his Phoenix debut on Friday when the Fuel Masters clash with the Meralco Bolts to kick off the season-ending third conference.
Baguio will be joining veterans Mick Pennisi and Willy Wilson as the team’s “senior citizens” who will serve as mentors to young talents Norbert Torres and Mark Cruz, whom Phoenix acquired 2 months back.
The 13-year-veteran will be joining his fifth team in his career after seeing action for Red Bull, Air21, Ginebra, and Alaska.
Baguio averaged 8.47 points, 3.21 rebounds and 2.49 assists during the first 2 conferences, helping Alaska to a pair of runner-up finishes. – By Richard Dy
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