Poor Rich


Rich Alvarez started his PBA career as a Shell Turbo Charger. The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters bought the Shell franchise… so technically he has been to the squad.

That’s one.

Then Rich was traded to Alaska alongside Tony dela Cruz.

That’s two.

Then Rich was traded to Red Bull.

That’s three.

Then there’s Purefoods

Four.

Then Ginebra

Five.

Then Air21…

Six.

And now he’s part of Talk N Text.

Seven.

Has he found a home?

He was inked to a one conference contract.

Ouch.


The Ateneo 2002 Championship was arguably one of the best squads assembled in collegiate history that began in year 2000. To this day, the heave Jec Chia launched is still remembered by the Loyola faithful. However, the Eagles have yet to deliver their awesomeness in the pro ranks.

Larry Fonacier started in Red Bull and has since moved to San Miguel and Alaska. He is currently in Talk N Text. Wesley Gonzales played for Air21, San Miguel, and Coca-Cola before returning to Air21 he never had a stable place in the teams he played. Jec Chia played for Coca-Cola, Ginebra, Air21, Talk N Text, and Barako Bull and is currently roster-less. He was once part of Alaska as a practice player. Doug Kramer started in Air21 but was sent to Ginebra and was sent back to Air21. Paolo Bugia played for Red Bull and was part of the Purefoods and Ginebra squads although he didn’t play a game. He is now in Rain or Shine alongside Kramer.

Magnum Membrere played for Barako Bull for a couple of seasons but he was waived from the squad before the Fiesta Cup started. Macky Escalona, one of the three rookie Eagles from that squad that made the PBA, played for two seasons with Ginebra but has decided to retire.

Chris Quimpo, Mike Baldos, Sonny Tadeo, and Andrew Cruz also played for the Eagles during those years but they never made the PBA. Quimpo was the only one who tried for the PBA and for a time was playing in the semi-pro leagues in the Philippines.

Hell, Enrico Villanueva was a budding legend when he played for Red Bull but his stats dropped when he joined the San Miguel Corporation. After stints with San Miguel and Purefoods, he is now with Ginebra which is a team that doesn’t depend on frontcourt scoring.

It seems like LA Tenorio and JC Intal are the lucky ones from that group. LA Tenorio almost won MVP honors last season for Alaska. Without Willie Miller, LA is Tim Cone’s undisputed key cog. Intal meanwhile gained claim by having monstrous playoff runs with Ginebra during their playoff campaigns. A lot is expected from these two in the near future.

Meanwhile, Alvarez seems to be in a fix. He is generous teammate in terms of hustle, passing, and team spirit. Yes, he is the modern-day Freddie Abuda but fact is, is this the only thing this former top pick could offer? He is living a career Pervis Ellison played a couple of decades ago. Who is he? He is Alvarez… but an American. Rich isn’t that great of a defender and a rebounder and his offense is only good via lay-ins, putbacks, and outside jumpers. He seems too thin to be power forward and his offense is limited for the small forward spot.

One might ask: Did Rich Alvarez found a home in TNT?

No.

Well…

Not really…

Kelly Williams will play for Smart-Gilas and could be unavailable for a long period of time and they need a person to soup up their bench. Mark Telan is also vying for a spot and he’ll probably get one with the injury that sidelined Ranidel de Ocampo.

One thing TNT lacks is defense. Surely they can expect the hustle from Alvarez but looking for an eighth team will depend on how he’ll blend with the squad. He needs to do more offense! Seriously if Alvarez can have a 7.0ppg and a 5rpg, then he’ll have a great spot with the squad. During import conference, Alvarez might be in a fix that is why he needs to have a good All-Filipino Conference!

He needs to destroy the stigma of being a draft bust!

Well at least he has Kyla.

Postscript: Powerade just traded Larry Rodriguez to the Rain or shine Elasto Painters for Eddie Laure and ROS first round pick in 2011.

Game over!

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