GAMES and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman Abraham Mitra has waded into the controversy surrounding KIA's proposed trade with San Miguel, expressing concern over its impact on parity in the PBA and the sanctity of the rookie draft process.
Mitra said the country's regulatory body for professional sports is 'intently observing' developments regarding KIA's bid to trade the No. 1 pick overall in Sunday's rookie draft to San Miguel for a bunch of second- and third-stringers.
Fil-German big man Christian Standhardinger is the consensus top pick in the draft.
“There are complaints about the KIA-SMB deal and we are intently observing,” Mitra said in a statement carried by both Pang-Masa and Bombo Radyo. "How the PBA handles it will determine if the next season will excite or turn off fans."
PBA commisioner Chito Narvasa has put the trade proposal on hold, saying he will hand down a decision before Sunday's draft.
The 6-7 Standhardinger will join June Mar Fajardo in a powerhouse SMB side that won two of three league titles this season if the trade is approved.
Mitra warned of the danger of declining interest from fans if 'stars are concentrated in only a few teams.'
“We would like to have a balance among all teams which would help competitiveness and boost sales. We want more teams to grow their fan base. Fans troop to games with star players,” he said. “The danger of declining ticket sales becomes real when stars are concentrated in only a few teams.”
“KIA, Blackwater, Globalport and Phoenix seem to need more stars in their team to be able to compete with the others. As in the past, lopsided matches affect public interest, gate receipts and revenues to the government.”