Three-team trade sends Dillinger to Meralco

PBA Commissioner Chito Salud approved Monday afternoon a five-player trade involving sister teams Talk ‘N Text and Meralco plus Barako Bull.

The Tropang Texters initially sent athletic wingman Jared Dillinger to the Energy Cola in exchange for do-it-all forward Sean Anthony.

Then Barako Bull swapped Dillinger and power forward Don Allado to the Meralco Bolts for the services of scoring guard Ronjay Buenafe and seldom-used center Gilbert Bulawan.

"Good trades for all the teams. The three teams acquired new players to fill in their needs and to complement their present strengths,” Salud said.

By the looks of it, the Bolts appear to benefit the most, with the addition of the 6-foot-5 Dillinger’s versatility coupled with Allado’s veteran presence.

A former second overall pick by Talk ‘N Text in the 2008 Draft, Dillinger, 29, has shown flashes of brilliance but Meralco still has to wait as the former University of Hawaii continues to recuperate from an injury after figuring in a road mishap last April.

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Now 33, the 6-foot-6 Allado, a 14-year veteran, is expected to give the needed seasoning for the younger Meralco frontline led by Jay-R Reyes, energetic Cliff Hodge and the undersized Vic Manuel.

The 6-foot-4 Anthony, meanwhile, gives the Tropang Texters younger legs that can provide hustle plays while trying to fill the big shoes left by athletic forward Kelly Williams, a one-time league MVP who continues to battle a blood disorder.

On the other hand, the 6-foot-2 Buenafe will be suiting up for his fourth team since being selected 11th overall by the now defunct Coca-Cola Tigers in the 2007 Draft while the 6-foot-4 Bulawan, 26, tries to ease up the load on the aging Barako Bull frontline.

Averaging 10.6 points built around a .370 clip from beyond the arc in 16 games with the Bolts, Buenafe is tipped to carry the offensive cudgels for the Energy Cola, who have traded spitfire guard Josh Urbiztondo to Barangay Ginebra in the recent Commissioners Cup.

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