PBA board expresses concern as Kia set to trade No. 1 pick to SMB

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Members of the PBA board are set to convene this week to discuss the future of the Kia Picanto franchise after its move to deal the No. 1 pick in the draft was revealed.

Incoming PBA board vice chairman Dickie Bachmann of Alaska told InterAksyon that concerns about Kia’s desire to be competitive in the league will be one of the things that will be brought up.

“Are they here to compete or not?” Bachmann said in a telephone interview on Saturday.

Several other board members who requested anonymity have also expressed concern about the issue.

Kia Picanto is entering its third year in the PBA, but its recent movements have alarmed several team officials from around the league.

Just recently, Bachmann learned that Kia Picanto has agreed on a deal to trade its No. 1 pick in the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft to San Miguel Beer in exchange for veteran center Jay-R Reyes and incoming sophomore Rashawn McCarthy alongside either Keith Agovida or the Beermen’s own first rounder, slated to be at No. 11 overall.

“We’ve been hearing rumors about Kia trading its No. 1 pick to San Miguel. I didn’t believe the rumors until it was confirmed by Commissioner Narvasa yesterday afternoon that there was a trade offer on his table, ” added Bachmann.

This is the second time that Kia is trading its first round pick.

In 2015, the team traded Troy Rosario to TNT for former national team standout Aldrech Ramos and versatile forward KG Canaleta in deals curiously approved by the Commissioner’s Office which, according to another board member who refused to be named, has been expected to “ensure balance and competitiveness” of teams.

Ramos and Canaleta are no longer part of Kia as they were later released and traded to other teams.

“This is really alarming. We’re raising this issue for the good of the PBA,” added Bachmann.

Kia has been embroiled in several controversies in its three seasons in the league.

Last year, former coach Glenn Capacio sought labor arbitration after he and other members of the staff were allegedly dismissed illegally.

Several players also came out and revealed they were shabilly treated.

Kia has also reportedly lost its biggest attraction, its listed player-coach Senator Manny Pacquiao, who has formed a new league — the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.