The Ube Republic craves for The Snatcher
May 29, 2012 by Sydrick Salazar
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Wynne Arboleda is Air21’s most decorated star. Sure, one can argue that it’s the hot-shooting Gary David… or the hot-shooting Renren Ritualo… or the hot-shooting big man known to many as Ranidel De Ocampo… and even the hot-shooting-in-the-sense-that-his-fists-shoot-on-other’s-faces Homer Se…
But to me, it’s The Snatcher.
Arboleda has been a fixture for the Lina franchise ever since he donned the Laguna Lakers’ colors of the defunct MBA. He has played 10 and a half seasons with FedEx/Air21/Burger King/Barako Bull and it could be more if we count his days with the Lakers and the Tanduay Rhum Masters (FedEx’ predecessor).
By the way, he is also the closest player to have Triple H’s lifestyle. Arboleda is married to Bert Lina’s daughter and like the Cerebral Assassin it entitles him to a possible shot to leading their basketball empire… like SMC Head of Talent Noli Eala is doing right now.
As of this moment, Wynne Arboleda has been released by the Barako Bull Energy. For five days he will have the “luxury” to join any team he wants. This is like Roger Yap’s deal… except that the B-Meg Llamados “released” him to the ABL’s San Miguel Beermen.
But then again, I guess this is a way for Arboleda to go to the Air21 squad.
Let’s face it – Arboleda doesn’t belong in a Barako Bull jersey. That #19 jersey he held for so long looks bad in the Energy uniform which is probably why he changed his number to 28. The current Air21 lineage version of Barako Bull consists of ex-Barakos Willie Miller, Mick Pennisi, and Leo Najorda as well as former players from the San Miguel Corporation like Danny Seigle, Ronald Tubid, Sunday Salvacion, and Don Allado.
For days we have seen Arboleda’s name in different capacities on dirt sheets. The main cause for this is to put Arboleda to either a title-hungry squad or in Air21. When no deals gained fruition, the Lina franchise decided to do this – release.
For five days, teams must court Arboleda and Air21 is the first team to “get in touch” with his services. There are eight other teams that could come up with an enticing offer to lure Arboleda out of the said offer. Talk N Text is one team who is in need of healthy point guards. Ginebra is another team in need of backup with Jayjay Helterbrand out. And of course, he could reunite with former coach Bo Perasol and Gary David in Powerade.
But it seems like Air21 will acquire Arboleda unless a team checks out his services.
This is not the first time I have encountered the release and sign deal between sister squads. Popular San Miguel cager Yves Dignadice, member of their 1989 grand slam team, was left unsigned by the Beermen in 1998. The entry of Danny Seigle, Rob Duat, and Nic Belasco as well as the resurgence of Danny Ildefonso and Freddie Abuda left the former La Salle standout unwanted.
However during free agency, Dignadice was picked up by SMB’s sister team Barangay Ginebra Kings who was then led by a now-uninspired Marlou Aquino, Bal David, and Noli Locsin. Pido Jarencio and Jayvee Gayoso left for Tanduay, Vince Hizon left Ginebra for the MBA’s Iloilo Megavoltz, and Locsin will later be traded to Pop Cola for Vergel Meneses. El Stampita would play two seasons for the Kings but his final season for the Kings and in the PBA was ruined by injuries.
It seems like Arboleda’s playing career is almost over. At 35, he is still young for his position but deep inside he wants to end his career just like how Jojo Lastimosa, Benjie Paras, Kenneth Duremdes, and Alvin Patrimonio ended theirs.
If there is one guy who stayed with the Ube Republic through thick and thin… it is this guy.