The PBA on Friday approved the controversial trade involving the Kia Picanto and San Miguel Beermen that will see the powerhouse squad select with the No.1 overall pick in the Rookie Draft on Sunday.
In the trade, Kia, a perennial cellar-dweller since joining the league three years ago, gave away the draft pick in exchange for seldom-used Beermen players Rashawn McCarthy, Jay-R Reyes, Ronald Tubid and their 2019 first round pick.
Filipino-German big man Christian Standhardinger is the consensus top prospect in this year’s draft class, and should San Miguel select him, he would be teaming him up with four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo to form their own twin-tower combination.
The deal, first reported by InterAksyon last Saturday, drew flak from many fans who believed that it was extremely lopsided.
It was also not the first time that Kia gave away their high draft pick, raising concerns about their desire to be competitive in the league.
But Kia defended the move, saying that the franchise wants to adopt an “unconventional type of basketball” in which Standhardinger doesn’t fit.
PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa gave the green light after the Beermen included Tubid in the deal.
“Sabi ko kay (SMB executive) Boss Robert (Non), ‘boss, you also have to hurt. You want to get something, you have to hurt’. Sabi ni (Kia executive) Bobby Rosales, ‘I need a shooter’ kasi meron silang (Jason) Ballesteros then makukuha nila si Jay-R Reyes. He has practiced the last two years guarding Fajardo but not been given opportunity to play.
“McCarthy because they need a point guard and he knows how to guard Chris Ross. I told Kia hindi puwede si (Keith) Agovida because he came from you already and you need veterans. So mukhang OK na si Tubid. I told Boss Robert if hindi nila ibibigay si Tubid within one hour the deal is off. Forget the deal. So it’s acceptable.
“If you look at it, ang style ng San Miguel, ilan lang ang ginagamit? Eight players. Tinanggal mo pa si Tubid, so sino papalit? Hindi ka masasaktan kapag si Agovida kasi nadi-develop pa eh. Pero ngayon, sino ipapalit mo kay (Marcio) Lassiter? Wala siya ipapalit eh. They’ll be forced to use Agovida or (Von) Pessumal.”