Purefoods to keep Villanueva – for now

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20090513

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Purefoods to keep Villanueva – for now




Coca-Cola and Talk 'N Text have reportedly made offers to acquire Enrico Villanueva, but Purefoods won't let go of its starting center.

Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio strongly denied Tuesday reports of negotiations of a trade involving Villanueva.

"I heard (the rumors) about it already, but it has died down," Gregorio said over the phone. "It wasn't discussed even at my level (coaches). So it's not true and it will not happen."

A reliable source revealed that the Tigers have offered veteran Asi Taulava as a trade bait to lure Villanueva, but talks apparently bogged down due to Purefoods' unwillingness to let go of the former Ateneo star.

Gregorio said entering into a trade is not in their radar.

"We're not entertaining trades right now. Our mission is to finish the classification round strong and any talks outside of this goal are not even being discussed," he added. "These issues are considered nuisance and distraction. We will not be affected."

Purefoods governor Rene Pardo admitted that he got wind of Coke's reported offer, saying Taulava's addition would be a big boost to the Giants.

"Narining ko na before ‘yun pero hindi naman umabot sa level naming (discussion). Iba din siyempre si Asi. Pero mas maganda kung silang dalawa," Pardo said in another phone interview.

Originally drafted by Barako Bull (previously Red Bull), as the seventh overall pick in the 2003 PBA Rookie Draft, Villanueva has become one of the league's premier centers.

Barako Bull dealt Villanueva to San Miguel Beer two seasons back.

Prior to the Fiesta Cup last season, Villanueva was shipped to Purefoods.

In his first five seasons, the 28-year-old Villanueva averaged 11.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

In the current conference, Villanueva has been averaging 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds.

Reached for comment, Coke governor JB Baylon did not confirm nor deny the report.

"I have heard that. We don't have space on the team right now. Coaches are in the best position to reply as they determine team composition," Baylon said in a text message.

Calls to Coke head coach Kenneth Duremdes were not answered.

The Tigers are eyeing to rebuild their team around Villanueva, according to sources.

As soon as the Talk 'N Text got wind of Coke's offer, the Phone Pals also made known their intentions of acquiring Villanueva.

Reached for confirmation, TNT assistant coach Virgil Villavicencio said he's not aware of any discussions about Villanueva's possible trade.

Villavicencio said they were under strict orders from TNT team manager Frankie Lim not to enter into trade talks until after the season.

TNT coach Chot Reyes, an Ateneo alumnus like Villanueva, could not be reached for comment.


Source: http://mb.com.ph/node/200518
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Purefoods to keep Villanueva – for now :: Comments

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Post on Wed May 13, 2009 1:34 pm by jenice

Asi for Enrico..hindi kaya lugi tayo nyan..bata pa si rico eh...wag na lang

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