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    Chris Gavina sees KIA turning the corner if given chance to nab top draft prospect Standhardinger

    Sep 12, 2017
    Chris Gavina sees a perfect fit for top draft prospect Christian Standhardinger to spark Kia's turnaround in the PBA. Jerome Ascano

    CHRIS Gavina is aware all current talk about KIA Picanto has less to do with their winless stint so far in the PBA Governors Cup, but more on the franchise's next move should they end up with the top overall pick in the coming draft.

    No official order of drafting has been released by the league, although based on the performance of all 12 teams going into the homestretch of the season, signs point to the Picanto as the probable owner of the coveted pick in next month’s rookie draft.

    In determining the order of draft, performances of all teams will be based on percentages in the Philippine Cup (40 percent), Commissioner’s Cup (30 percent), and Governors Cup (30 percent).

    NLEX, Blackwater, and KIA are the three teams in contention for the top pick, but it appears the Picanto have the edge out of the two at the moment.

    While Gavina is thrilled at such prospect, he actually has no idea at what management plans about the coming new season.

    Heck, he isn’t even sure of his fate with the franchise.

    “That’s a great position to be in. Hopefully, I’ll still be (the) coach,” said the Fil-Am mentor, who acts as the lead deputy of playing-coach Manny Pacquiao, in between laughs.

    But he said owning the top pick would be a great opportunity for the Picanto to turn the franchise around, especially after a disappointing campaign this season that had the team failing to make the playoffs and compiling a combined 6-25 (win-loss) record going to its last two games in the season-ending meet against San Miguel and Star.

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    Gavina was vocal enough to mention big Fil-German Christian Standhardinger as almost a sure bet for the no.1 overall draft.

    “If we can get a guy like Standhardinger, with his experience, demeanor on the court, skill set, he can easily turn this franchise around if you can get him,” said Gavina, the brainchild behind the new sports drink Impakt.

    But then, the coming draft is not all about the 6-foot-7 Standhardinger.

    There are a couple of Fil-Ams and locals, too, who impressed the KIA coach, among them Jason Perkins and national team member Raymar Jose, who reminds him of a do-it-all veteran forward from Barangay Ginebra.

    “All those guys are so versatile they really remind me of Joe Devance, tough guy that has multiple skills set and great basketball IQ,” he pointed out.

    Then there’s also the duo of Davon Potts and Andreas Cahilig.

    “I like Potts and Cahilig, he impressed me a lot during their championship run (in the D-League with Cignal HD),” said Gavina. “So hopefully all of these guys land our way.”

    The KIA coach, though, failed to mention one thing: Will the Picanto keep their draft pick or not?

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    Chris Gavina sees a perfect fit for top draft prospect Christian Standhardinger to spark Kia's turnaround in the PBA. Jerome Ascano
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