• Ellis to Elite, Dela Cruz to Gin Kings

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    Barangay Ginebra San Miguel acquired Art Dela Cruz and Raymond Aguilar from Blackwater and sent Chris Ellis and big man Dave Marcelo to the Elite to strengthen their title-retention bid in the Governors’ Cup.

    The PBA Commissioner’s Office has yet to receive the papers of the deal as of this writing but both camps confirmed the transaction on Thursday.

    Ginebra grandslam mentor Tim Cone said it was tough seeing Ellis and Marcelo go to Blackwater.

    “The hardest part of coaching is making difficult decisions, but we felt this trade was good for both the team and the two players we traded away. Chris (Ellis) will have a chance to go to Blackwater and really spread his wings and realize his full potential,” said Cone.

    “His (Ellis) athleticism is just what Blackwater seemingly needs. We expect him to really soar there. As for Dave (Marcelo), his role significantly changed with Greg Slaughter’s return to the lineup, but with Blackwater, he should continue to get significant playing time,” he added.

    Ellis, who played five seasons for the Gin Kings and was drafted sixth overall in 2012, is averaging only 3.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in six games this conference. Marcelo is averaging only a point and 1.5 rebounds in four games.

    Dela Cruz, who has yet to play in the league since suffering an ACL injury last March, will give the Gin Kings the versatility as the former San Beda College standout is known for his all-around game.

    He averaged 14.3 points and 7.1 rebounds in the Philippine Cup and was selected to the Gilas Pilipinas national pool.

    “Because of our depth, we have the luxury of waiting for Art’s injury to heal and looking to the future. We hope he can contribute to Ginebra for years to come. Tough to say goodbye to those two, however,” said Cone.

    The seven-year veteran Aguilar is expected to play behind Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter.

    Blackwater coach Leo Isaac said he was happy with the trade.

    In other developments, grandslam-seeking San Miguel Beer replaced Wendell McKines and signed Terik Bridgeman.

    Kia is also parading a new import today versus Blackwater in Geron Marquis Johnson, who replaced Markeith Cummings.

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