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Kia defends latest trade, prefers veteran talent over one rookie

New Kia team manager Joe Lipa and team governor Bobby Rosales. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.net

Newly appointed Kia team manager Joe Lipa is well aware of the talent his team will miss out on as the controversial trade involving the top pick in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft pushed through on Friday.

But Lipa said he doesn’t mind losing one top-flight player if that means Kia will acquire veterans who will all embrace the mentality they are trying to inculcate going forward.

“One man cannot spell the difference from a team winning a championship. But for us to have three to four veteran players who we believe isn’t only talented but can also contribute to the development of the younger players, we believe that we can be very competitive,” said Lipa Friday during a small chat with reporters at Azure Residences in Bicutan hours before the trade was approved.

READ: PBA approves Kia-San Miguel trade

The Picanto acquired Ronald Tubid, JayR Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, and a 2019 first round pick in exchange for their top pick this year, which is expected to be Christian Standhardinger.

“Don’t get me wrong, Christian Standhardinger is a great player. I’ve seen him play and the boy has a big potential,” he said

It’s just that the Picanto are looking for more seasoned players, according to the legendary coach.

READ: Kia pleads for understanding: ‘Give us a chance to prove our philosophy’

“Everybody that will come from draft might not have the necessary experience that we’ll be needing in molding a competitive team. Besides, I always believe that players that make it to the PBA are talented to make it to the pros.”

Lipa said that the decision to trade the pick to San Miguel for a number of veterans fits more with what the Picanto’s wants to be “unconventional type of basketball” this season.

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