There has been a lot of player movement in the SMC group in the PBA as of late. Since the beginning of April this year, both the San Miguel Beermen and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel involved themselves in trades in order to balance their line-ups and find the right mix of players. Some of the recent trades they were involved are as follows (taken from the PBA’s website):

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel

  1. Barako Bull – Ginebra: Barako Bull – acquired the rights to Dylan Ababou and James Forrester / Ginebra – acquired the rights to Barako Bull’s 2015 1st round draft pick.
  2. Barako Bull – Barangay Ginebra: Barako Bull – acquired the rights to Billy Mamaril / Barangay Ginebra – acquired the rights to Dave Marcelo
  3. Ginebra – Barako: Ginebra – acquired the rights to Sol Mercado / Barako Bull – acquired the rights to Joseph Yeo

San Miguel Beermen

  1. Barako Bull – San Miguel Beermen: Barako Bull – acquired the rights to Rico Maierhofer / San Miguel Beermen – acquired the rights to Billy Mamaril.
  2. GlobalPort – San Miguel Beermen: San Miguel Beermen – acquired the rights to Yancy de Ocampo and Gabby Espinas / GlobalPort Batang Pier – acquired the rights to Billy Mamaril and Doug Kramer.

Looking at this list, that’s a substantial amount of player movement for both teams. As for their other sister-team, the Purefoods Star Hotshots, it looks like there could also be player movements coming soon. After their impressive Grand Slam run, Purefoods struggled to defend their titles for back-to-back conferences, one valid reason to think that Tim Cone and the rest of the management could possibly shake things up in the Hotshots’ camp. They maybe looking to add another player from another team or try and get a hold of one of the top picks in the up and coming 2015 PBA Draft.

Who could these players possibly be? Here, we are going to dissect some of the Hotshots’ performances this season and the possibility of them suiting up for a different team before this season ends.

Quick Notes: Not included in the following list is “Big Game” James Yap for obvious reasons. Also, their primary defender in Marc Pingris won’t be here as well. One last thing, bench warmers will not be included as it is safe to assume that they don’t have that much of a value when it comes to them being traded.

With all of that being said, let’s begin!

1. Alex Mallari

Alex Mallari: Offense over Defense? (Photo Credit: Sherwin Vardeleon, SportsDesk.PH)

Alex Mallari: Offense over Defense? (Photo Credit: Sherwin Vardeleon, SportsDesk.PH)


Alex Mallari is a type of player that makes you jump off your seat when he plays good basketball. Highlight plays. Big shots. He can do it. But when he plays bad basketball, he makes you shake your head and think to yourself, “What in world was he thinking?”. He’s been this type of a player for Purefoods since his arrival, sometimes good, sometimes bad. But last conference, it was more of bad rather than good.

Among all the players on this list, he’s got the worst net on/off court rating of -14.0 last conference. This means that the Purefoods scores 14 more points whenever he’s not on the floor. Also, among the top 5 line-ups being utilized by Coach Tim Cone, Alex Mallari is part of 3 of the 5 line-ups that generates a net negative on the floor rating:

Bowles – Devance – Pingris – Simon – Yap 27.3 114.0 102.0 +12
Devance – Mallari – Orton – Pingris – Yap 26.9 81.8 85.7 -3.9
Bowles – Devance – Mallari – Pingris – Simon 22.4 127.5 100.0 +27.5
Bowles – Devance – Mallari – Pingris – Simon 17.3 96.7 103.3 -6.7
Bowles – Devance – Mallari – Pingris – Yap 17.3 100.0 111.8 -11.8

Taking a look at the line-ups above, we can see that whenever Alex Mallari doesn’t play, it yields a positive net rating for Purefoods. One reason behind this is the fact that Mallari is has been a defensive liability for Purefoods. Defense has always been the weakness in his game as he’s averaging a net rating of -20.5 in his early career.

Purefoods has been known as a great defensive team and when you don’t or can’t play good defense, your spot in the team could be in jeopardy.


If he will be traded because of his defense, he’ll likely stay because of his offense. Taking a look at Alex Mallari’s career stats, he’s been able to increase his production this season:

Alex Mallari Career Advanced Stats

Although his AST% may have gone down, he makes up for it in terms of offensive production (4 games in double figures last conference). He’s shooting a career-best, with a TS% of  45.1 percent and also a career-best ORTG of 86.5.

One more thing, at 6’4″ playing the guard spot, he’s a match-up nightmare for opposing guards. Because of this, Coach Tim has been playing him a lot as of late.


Right now, it will be a matter of priority for the Hotshots. Yes, he’s been productive on offense but he hasn’t been able to improve on his defense. For me, if he doesn’t find a way to improve his defense, he could be on his way out either before this season ends or before the beginning of next season should Purefoods fail to advance in the Finals once again.

2. Justin Melton

Justin Melton: Defense over Offense? (Photo Credit: KC Cruz, GMA Sports)

Justin Melton: Defense over Offense? (Photo Credit: KC Cruz, GMA Sports)


Stats-wise there isn’t really much of a problem with Justin Melton aside from his shooting this season.

Justin Melton Stats

Comparing his shooting stats during his rookie year to this season, there has been a slight dip in terms of percentage. This season, he has struggled with his outside shot and in his free throws (60.9 percent from the foul line for a guard is simply inexplicable) as well; but hey, who doesn’t struggle with their free throws in Purefoods anyway?

During his rookie year, Justin Melton was quite a threat with his mid-range and his outside jumper. When he’s left wide open, it’s a sure 2 or 3 points fr Purefoods. However, this season, his shot has been a little bit off and teams could afford to sag off him in defense.


A major reason reason why this guy won’t be traded is his positive impact whenever he’s on the floor. Among everybody included in this list, he’s the only player with a positive net on/off court rating of 9.4. With his iffy shooting, how does he do this? The answer is simple, this is because of his defense. His back-court partnership with Mark Barroca dubbed as the “Twin Terrors” is still considered to be one of the best defensive back-court combinations in the league today.

Barroca-Melton 2014-15 PH Cup 2015 Comm Cup
ORTG [on/off] 110.6 / 105.6 98.9 / 103.3
DRTG [on/off] 89.7 / 102.6 84.3/ 111/3
Net [on/off] 21.0 / 3.0 14.5 / -7.5


Letting go of a prized and rising talent such as Justin Melton would be very hard for Purefoods; most especially because he prides himself in playing defense. However, for me, he could be traded if and only if it will be for one of the top picks in the 2015 PBA Draft.

3. Mick Pennisi

Want Mick? (Photo Credit: Nuki Sabio, PBA)

Want Mick? (Photo Credit: Nuki Sabio, PBA)


I’ve always liked Mick Pennisi. He’s a big guy who could shoot from deep. Also, his on-court antics are hilarious. But since his arrival in Purefoods late in the Philippine Cup, his performance has been quite a let down. Playing a full conference in the Commisioner’s Cup, Mick Pennisi still looks a little bit lost in Coach Tim’s triangle. He couldn’t get into any rhythm to get his game going. He’s known to be a sweet shooting big man, but it isn’t the case so far this season.


During his days with Barako, he shot the ball really well especially during the 2013-2014 season wherein he averaged 41.7 percent from deep. This season however, this number dropped to only 29.5 percent (only 1.1 makes in 3.7 attempts) wearing a Purefoods uniform.

Maybe Mick’s style of play just isn’t suitable to the Triangle Offense. He hasn’t been able to produce the numbers expected from him, quite a good reason for him to be traded.


There’s only one reason, in my opinion, why he won’t be traded: It’s because teams won’t be interested in acquiring his services. This is all but rational as Mick Pennisi is already 40 years of age and not on the same level as that of an Asi Taulava.


As much as Purefoods would want to ship out Mick Pennisi, as I’ve said before, it’s possible that it won’t generate that much of an interest from the other teams. But one thing’s for sure, once Ian Sangalang comes back next season, Mick’s minutes would go down significantly; that’s if he’s still there and Purefoods doesn’t release him in the off season.

4. PJ Simon

Simon for Baracael? (Photo Credit: Jerome Ascano, Spin.PH)

Simon for Baracael? (Photo Credit: Jerome Ascano, Spin.PH)


The only reason PJ Simon will be traded because his trade value is very high which means Purefoods can also get a quality player in exchange for PJ.  Also, at his age (34), with the way he’s still playing, he could still attract quite a number of teams to trade for him in exchange for younger players. As the core of their team isn’t getting any younger, Purefoods might be looking into securing the team’s future as early as now.

One more thing, yes, he can still keep up with the younger players in terms of scoring but his averages have significantly gone down last conference, maybe another reason why Purefoods management is thinking of shipping him out.



The answer is simple: PJ Simon has been with Purefoods his entire career and has been the “Super-Sub” turned “Scoring Apostle” for the team. He remains one of the most potent scorers in the game today:


Besides, would Purefoods be ready for the reaction of the fans if they trade away one of their “Big 3”?


There has been a rumor spreading of a Mac Baracael – PJ Simon swap. We all know that this could only be done if there would be another team willing to act as conduit for this trade. For me, with the way things are going in the San Miguel group, this transaction isn’t a long shot. As a believer of a saying that goes: “There’s no smoke without fire”, I believe they are cooking things up out there and I wouldn’t be surprised anymore if this trade happens.


We wouldn’t really know the possibility of these “Expendables” getting traded, until well, it happens. For now, Purefoods’ fans should be ready for anything as this is the current mindset of the management when it comes to trades:

“We will never say yes or no outright on trade (proposal), kahit pa naka-grand slam na kami. Instead, we will take it on the merits of the offer.” – Rene Pardo, Purefoods’ Team Governor

And my gut feel tells me that someway, somehow, Purefoods will enter into a trade any time soon; especially when Purefoods struggle yet again in the early goings of the Governor’s Cup (hopefully not!). Coach Tim Cone and the management is probably feeling out the right time to execute it. This will be very crucial because in any trade transactions in any sport, timing is everything.