TNT KaTropa said PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa mentioned the Texters as one of the teams that pursued the No. 1 overall draft pick to take the heat off himself over his approval of the controversial trade between Kia and San Miguel Beer.
In a press conference on Friday where he explained how the deal between Kia and SMB went down, Narvasa from out of the blue mentioned that TNT assistant manager Magnum Membrere was the one who submitted the draft application of eventual top pick Christian Standhardinger to the league office.
In a statement on Sunday, TNT management clarified that Membrere only came in as a representative of Gilas where Stanhardinger has suited up in a handful of international tournaments.
“It was a sincere gesture to assist Standhardinger with a basic admin filing process because he flew back to Germany after the SEA Games,” the statement read.
“TNT management resents the statement of Comm. Narvasa,” it added. “It’s uncalled for. Just proves he is biased.”
TNT also bared that Narvasa talked with Standhardinger during the Fiba Asia Cup about joining the draft.
“Com Chito talked to CS in Lebanon to join the draft dahil alam niya manipis at walang dating,” the statement read. “He cleared that it would be ok for CS to miss the draft camp and have a proxy to submit his application, since he will be out of the country. So of course ibang tao nag-submit.
“No logical reason to divulge the info other than a futile and pathetic attempt to take the spotlight off him,” the statement added.
“Why did he have to use us to justify his decision? In addition, any team has the right to see what trades would make sense for them regardless of players thrown into the equation,” it continued.
Despite the revision that saw veteran Ronald Tubid taking the place of Keith Agovida, and completing the players involved along with Jay-R Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, and a 2019 first-round pick, TNT felt it was one-sided.
“His decision robs the PBA of the dynamism, excitement, and suspense that a player of CS’ caliber would bring going up against Fajardo,” the statement read.
“If the commissioner does not see this simple perspective, he may not be the right person for the job,” it added. “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?”