Sol Mercado, along with fellow former Brgy. Ginebra players Kevin Ferrer and Jervy Cruz, made significant contributions in just their very first game for NorthPort after being traded for Batang Pier superstar and 2018 scoring champion Stanley Pringle during the week.
The trio combined for 53 points and was instrumental in the team’s 127-99 conquest of Blackwater Elite during their 2019 Commissioner’s Cup elimination game, Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
A good number of league followers criticized the trade and branded it as lopsided in favor of Brgy. Ginebra, with some even comparing it to the deal which sent Christian Standhardinger from Columbian Dyip to the already-loaded San Miguel Beermen.
For Mercado, however, it’s unfair to label the deal as such.
“They say that the trade was one-sided because they see Stanley as one of the best guards. He puts up thirty points a game or whatever,” said Mercado. “But what they didn’t realize was that at Ginebra, we made a lot of sacrifices. Me, Kevin, and Jervy, we made a lot of sacrifices for the betterment of the team.”
The 35-year old Fil-Am bared that Pringle will have to adjust to the Gin Kings’ style of play which is far from what he is already accustomed to at NorthPort.
“Obviously, Stanley here had the ball in his hands. Eighty-five-percent of the time, the ball is in his hands. At Ginebra, it’s not gonna happen. He’s gotta make sacrifices as well if they want to win,” said the 5th overall pick of the 2008 PBA Rookie Draft.
“So he’s not gonna average 30 points a game, he’s not gonna have the ball in his hands majority of the time. So he’s gonna have to adjust, make sacrifices to be able to play a different style,” he added.