BOCAUE — It turns out, San Miguel wasn’t alone in chasing the number one pick in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft.
After announcing the approval of the trade on Friday, PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa shared that TNT also tried to strike a deal with Kia for the coveted draft pick.
“Kia has talked to several prospects, other teams, and how they arrived with San Miguel, I guess it’s between them. The proposal just came to me,” the league executive said. “But if (Magnum) Membrere came here, (Kia) must have talked with TNT also. I don’t know who the others are or were.”
Narvasa said that Standhardinger bared his intention to join the draft three weeks prior to the September 4 deadline for Fil-foreign aspirants with the Fil-German forward’s agent processed his papers. But to his surprise, KaTropa assistant team manager Magnum Membrere also submitted another application for Standhardinger, duplicating the 28-year-old’s papers.
“I was wondering why (Membrere) was the one to submit, but I just let it fly,” he said.
Already sensing that a deal was in the works between Standhardinger and TNT, Narvasa was shocked when it was Kia and San Miguel agreed on a trade which was submitted to his office.
“I was wondering why the pick will go to San Miguel,” he pondered, assuming that the talks with the KaTropa slowly fizzled out.
The SMB-Kia transaction loomed over the league for the past week. During that time, Narvasa talked to parties from the Beermen and the Picanto as they tried to find a valid trade between the two teams.
Ultimately, they settled for the final deal which saw San Miguel receive the top overall pick in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft in exchange for Ronald Tubid, JayR Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, and the Beermen’s 2019 first rounder.
The inclusion of Tubid, Narvasa said, was the clincher for the trade to progress.
“I told them JayR will pass because he’ll be able to guard (June Mar) Fajardo. McCarthy also gets an ok because they need a point guard who can defend Chris Ross. Next, they wanted (Keith) Agovida, but I told them that can’t be because it came from them that they need veterans,” he said.
“I told (Kia governor Bobby) Rosales that they need to get a shooter so I added Tubid in the deal. San Miguel will have to find someone in their rotation to replace (Marcio) Lassiter, and if San Miguel adds Tubid to the trade, I think this will pass. But if you don’t give Tubid within one hour, the deal is off and forget the deal.”