A ‘heartbroken’ Sol Mercado took to his Instagram account to bid farewell to Brgy. Ginebra and its legion of fans after learning that he has been traded to the NorthPort Batang Pier along with Jervy Cruz and Kevin Ferrer in exchange for Stanley Pringle.
The 35-year old Fil-Am spent the last 4 years as a Gin King after being dealt by Barako Bull in 2015 for Joseph Yeo. The three-time PBA champion burst into the league in 2008 as the 1st round pick of the Alaska Aces, 5th overall in the 2008 PBA Rookie Draft.
He was dealt immediately to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters along with Eddie Laure for Joe Devance and 2 future picks. He was on the move again after only two seasons, ending up with the Meralco Bolts. He also had a stop in San Miguel and two stints with NorthPort before landing at Barako Bull.
His stint with Brgy. Ginebra is understandably the most significant in his 11-year career having won three PBA titles with the team.
“I’m going through a truck load of emotions right now 😥💔…I really wasn’t going to say anything in public, I was gonna go about my business and play this game I have been blessed to play for a living,” wrote Mercado.
“As the news spread my phone continued to blow up with messages and phone calls from teammates, coaches and management. I was still good, I was holding it together! Then comes tons of messages from the BEST FANS IN THE WORLD, that’s when I lost it! There is nothing like being appreciated by the people who watch every game and witness how much you give to their beloved team!” he added.
He thanked the fans, the whole team, who he already considers as his family, and then capped it off by wishing them well and professed that he will always be a Gin King by heart.
“THANK YOU for these past 4 years, I can honestly say it’s been the best years of my career! 3 championships in 4 years isn’t too bad. I would be lying if I told you guys this doesn’t hurt… but trust me, my heart is FULL! I’m so grateful and thankful for the opportunity I had to put on that jersey. From the coaches to the players, we became FAMILY and that will NEVER end. It was an honor to go to battle on that court with you guys. Gonna miss that part tremendously! I’m not gonna miss you cuz I pray we will still be in each other’s lives. Good luck the rest of the season. Love you ALL! #NSD #onceaKINGalwaysaKING”