The swagger associated with Kelly Nabong at GlobalPort has moved over to the bench of San Miguel Beer.
Nabong, an offbeat pivotman who loves to mix it up in the lane, was acquired by the Beermen on Thursday in a trade with the Batang Pier, who received Gabby Espinas and a second-round pick in the 2020 rookie draft in the exchange.
Inserting the 6-foot-5 enforcer in the San Miguel Beer lineup in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup has made coach Leo Austria’s bruising frontline rotation even sturdier.
“He’s a good addition to the team. Kelly has definitely added more depth to our frontline,’’ said Austria, whose Beermen are situated in the middle of the chart (4-4) in their quest for a quarterfinal seat.
As for the Batang Pier (4-5), they pushed the deal ahead of the June 22 trade deadline not only to strengthen their lineup but also to keep them within grasp of a playoff berth.
Espinas, the fifth overall pick in the 2006 Draft, saw his playing minutes diminish with rookie Christian Standhardinger around.
SMB is Nabong’s his third team in the league after suiting up for Meralco and GlobalPort while Espinas, a former NCAA rookie-MVP, saw action for Air21, Barako Bull, Sta. Lucia, Meralco and Alaska.
Aside from Standhardinger, Nabong will join four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and Renaldo Balkman in packing the lanes for SMB.
Written by: June Navarro
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