Carl Cruz traded to TNT, Blackwater gets Jay Washington, draft picks

Carl Cruz traded to TNT, Blackwater gets Jay Washington, draft picks

Carl Cruz is reuniting with Coach Chot Reyes at TNT. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Carl Cruz is set to reunite with his former Gilas Pilipinas coach after the PBA trade committee approved the trade sending him to TNT.

On Friday, the said committee gave the green light for both the Tropang Giga and the Blackwater Bossing to consummate a deal sending Cruz to the PLDT franchise for Jay Washington.

In the process, Blackwater also acquired two future second-round picks, one for Season 48, to be used either in 2022 or in 2023, and another for Season 51, which could be used by either 2025 or 2026.

Both the Tropang Giga and Bossing had to make a major tweak in the Cruz trade just to get the approval.

Rey Mark Acuno and Chris Javier were initially thrown into the mix, which would have seen both players swapping jerseys.

TNT was also supposed to send its first-round pick for the upcoming draft to Blackwater.

The approval of the swap means Cruz will get to play under Coach Chot Reyes for the first time in the PBA.

Reyes previously handled Cruz during their stint with Gilas, and the multi-titled coach had high hopes on the six-foot-five forward as the heir apparent to Ranidel De Ocampo as the national team's stretch-four.

While Cruz as a Gilas player was an impressive one, he somehow struggled to translate it to PBA success, and his moving to Reyes and TNT could spark his renaissance even as the team looks to complete the first PBA grand slam amid the pandemic.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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