Nov. 01, 2016
Loyalty Swap: Instead of Mahindra Floodbuster, why not Bolero?
When the new season starts, the Mahindra Enforcers will be no more. Mahindra will still keep the brand but they will change their moniker to Floodbuster.
The Floodbuster is a new breed of Mahindra Enforcer. According to carguide.ph, the Floodbuster will make navigating easy for people especially during the rainy season where most streets in the metro are knee-deep in water. The vehicle is fitted with snorkel air intakes, roll bar, and other anti-flooding devices.
So in order for the product to catch on, the Mahindra squad will change their name to the aforementioned Floodbuster.
And here lies the problem.
The PBA is a big advertising tool. If your target market is predominantly male and you don’t want to spend millions of pesos for 30-second spots that may or may not entice the viewer to buy your brand, then owning a PBA team is a good way to make your product get attention. Since 1975, the league has helped various brands. From t-shirts to real estate to courier service to banks and whatever it is Galerie Dominique is made for, the PBA can be a community with everything it has had through the years.
From day one, Mahindra has stated that they will buy a PBA franchise to promote their products. Against everyone wishes, they let Manny Pacquiao taint the image of the league by becoming the oldest first round pick... that’s also their playing coach. In each of their seasons, at least 23 local players have suited up. After their inaugural year, LA Revilla became their local top scorer with averages of 9.63ppg, 4.28rpg, 4.19apg, and 1.47spg in 27.84mpg. This season, Aldrech Ramos became the team’s top scorer with Revilla and KG Canaleta averaging in double figures. Ramos came to the team in a three-way deal for Mahindra’s top pick. That pick turned out to be Troy Rosario. However, the damage isn’t as bad as one would think because Ramos re-discovered his awesome ways and at the end of the season was even considered for the Mythical selection. Also, part of that trade was Canaleta and the former UE Red Warrior got his game going this year.
And this is what bothers me. Ramos is an asset. Didn’t the team give Ramos a swell ride in gratitude for his exceptional gameplay? Why would you release your asset for a player whose numbers dropped in that same season?
Even worse, why is Mahindra helping Chito Victolero re-gain Ramos?
This is the same team that a year ago was willing to trade away their draft pick for either Jayson Castro or James Yap. I am not knocking on Mallari’s gameplay because he was on the verge of breakout when Tim Cone was still handling San Mig Coffee but he is not Castro or Yap.
If you look at Mahindra’s history, it feels as if they are only using the PBA to promote their products. They started as Kia Sorento. Then they changed their name to Kia Carnival. Last season they called their selves Mahindra Enforcer and right now... they are the Floodbusters.
Anyway, it’s a shame they have such ideology on their team because if they kept their core, they could be playing in a conference final in the near future. In PBA's rich history, I haven't seen a team win a crown using a budget squad. What better advertisement than to have Manny Pacquiao – who more or less just played virtually a couple of minutes in the second quarter in this scenario – get the most space of that congratulatory broadsheet spread? Imagine all your print collaterals with the faces of your stars with the words in bold saying 2016 blank cup champions?
Russel Escoto, Ramos, and Bradwyn Guinto are a triumvirate that could be the league’s version of Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid. I am not saying they have the same skillset but as bigs with future dominance written on their foreheads, this is a core any established team would salivate on. Before trading Yap for Paul Lee, Star’s Big Three had an average of 35 years. TNT has started its rebuilding phase and they have been title-less for some time now. San Miguel is on the verge of losing most of their starters two or three years from now to old age and Mahindra could ascend as prime beasts if they had the resources.
But when they traded away nearly two-thirds of their standard rotation, it gives of signals that Mahindra is a mere conduit... or a pawn to the big teams.
I don't know if this trade has been okayed by the league. I first saw this on Spin.ph and I have seen this on my Twitter feed as well. Maybe there's hope that the league will use it's power to veto one-for-one trades of this caliber just like what they did with the Carlo Lastimosa and James Forrester...
Maybe their way of thinking is to have quantity over quality. In some cases it could work. In this kind of mentality they were able to recognize the talents of Revilla as well as former and current players like Mark Yee, Karl Dehesa, Hyram Bagatsing, Paolo Taha, and Mike DiGregorio. But when they have a potential franchise player like Aldrech Ramos... the only upgrade is to get another team’s franchise player.
I wish they could call their selves as Bolero.
I will stop bashing the group if they call their selves the Mahindra Boleros.