Breaking its silence, the TNT management blasted PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa, following Narvasa’s claims that the franchise was involved in the controversial trade between San Miguel Beer and Kia.
Team manager Virgil Villavicencio released a statement on Sunday, clarified the squad’s involvement in the deal.
Narvasa said on Friday that TNT assistant team manager Magnum Membrere also submitted Standhardinger’s application to the PBA Office, duplicating the Fil-German’s forms after his agent had earlier sent his papers.
“Comm. Chito talked to Christian Standhardinger in Lebanon to join the draft because he knew that [the draft pool] is shallow. He called that it would be okay for Christian Standhardinger to miss the draft camp and have a proxy to submit his application since he will be out of the country. So of course, it’s a different person who submitted it. No logical reason to divulge the info other than a futile and pathetic attempt to take the spotlight off him,” the statement read.
“TNT management resents the statement of Comm. Narvasa. Uncalled for. Just proves he is biased.”
— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) October 29, 2017
Villavicencio clarified that Membrere was merely acting “as a representative of Smart Gilas.”
“It was a sincere gesture to assist Standhardinger with a basic admin filing process because he flew back to Germany after the SEA Games,” he said.
The team executive called out Narvasa for using TNT as a scapegoat for the approval of the deal, which sent Kia’s number one pick, which turned out to be Standhardinger, to San Miguel in exchange for Ronald Tubid, JayR Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, and the Beermen’s 2019 first round pick.
“We resented his statement as it is uncalled for. Why did he have to use us to justify his decision?,” the statement read. “In addition, any team has the right to see what trades would make sense for them regardless of players thrown into the equation. His decision robs the PBA of the dynamism, excitement, and suspense that a player of Christian Standhardinger’s caliber would bring going up against Fajardo.”
The PBA Board of Governors had earlier stated that it would support whatever Narvasa’s decision would be on the transaction.
However, Villavicencio expressed his lack of confidence on the commissioner following his approval of the trade.
“If the commissioner does not see this simple perspective, he may not be the right person for the job. We are afraid as to who should be the custodian of the PBA’s overall paramount interest. He talks about parity/ equilibrium for trades, but where is it?” he said.
“People have spoken. Comm. Chito, listen to the feedback!”