The TNT KaTropa continue their youth movement. A few months after the KaTropa traded away Larry Fonacier, they made another move to ship away one of their veterans. The PBA announced a three-team trade where Ranidel De Ocampo, one of the longest tenured TNT players was traded to Meralco.
— PBA (@pbaconnect) September 11, 2017
Based on the approved trade, De Ocampo was traded by TNT to the Phoenix Fuel Masters for Norbert Torres and a 2017 first round draft pick (from the San Miguel Beeren). The veteran Gilas forward was on the move again as the Fuel Masters sent him to the Meralco Bolts in exchange for Justin Chua and Meralco’s first round draft pick this year. Chua goes to TNT as part of the deal.
De Ocampo’s numbers have slipped slightly this conference. He’s scoring is down to just 9.1 points per game as TNT has focused on giving touches to their younger players. He joins a Meralco team that puts a premium on shooting and players that can space the floor. De Ocampo could find more touches in a Bolts offense that spreads the wealth around monster import Allen Durham. The Bolts who are making a push for another Finals appearance can definitely use a forward with a wide range of offensive moves.
The KaTropa two young bigs to strengthen their frontline. Torres has yet to play a game this conference but in the games he’s played this season, he has the size and shooting to work in a TNT team where the offense will be created for him. Chua is known as a big man that can hit the outside shot and run the floor. He will do the same in the KaTropa. The bigger loot for TNT in the trade is the 2017 first round pick. This gives them two first rounders after they got back their pick in the Fonacier trade. The picks, which will most likely be in the middle to late first round can be packaged to trade up or used to select young prospects that can fit into the KaTropa system.
The Fuel Masters get an upgrade of the pick that they held. Because of Meralco’s disastrous Philippine Cup campaign, coupled with San Miguel’s championship run in the same conference, the pick that they got from the Bolts will definitely be higher than the one from San Miguel which they traded away. Phoenix gets to move up in the first round and get a better rookie prospect. They also add a second round pick from TNT to their stash.