IT seems the San Miguel Corp. group again beat the MVP group to the draw as far as getting the coveted No. 1 overall pick in this Sunday’s PBA rookie draft.
PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa bared TNT KaTropa was among the teams that made a bid for Kia’s top pick, which eventually went to San Miguel Beer for Ronald Tubid, Rashawn Mccarthy, Jay-R Reyes, and a future first-round pick.
“Kia has talked to several prospects, other teams, and how they arrived with San Miguel, I guess it’s between them,” Narvasa said on Friday in a press conference where he announced the approval of the controversial trade. “The proposal just came to me.”
Naravasa held the notion that the Texters were also in the running since it was TNT assistant team manager Magnum Membrere, curiously, who submitted Christian Standhardinger’s draft application at least two weeks before the deadline.
“May nag-submit din ng application para kay Christian,” Narvasa related. “Sabi ko, 'Sino nagsu-submit niyan? Kala ko sa akin didiretso. Sabi sa akin si Magnun Membrere, TNT official. Sabi ko, bakit siya magsusubmit? Pinabayaan ko na.”
“If Membrere came here, they (Kia) must have talked with Talk ‘N Text,” he added. “One of the teams could’ve been Talk ‘N Text. I don’t know who the others are or where. I don’t know with (Kia governor) Mr. (Bobby) Rosales if he’s at liberty to (say).”
But with the Beermen emerging as the frontrunner to get the top pick, Narvasa said he tried to reach a deal that wouldn't be as lopsided as initially drafted by talking with SMB governor Robert Non and Kia counterpart Bobby Rosales.
“Sabi ko kay boss Robert, if you want to get something, you have to hurt, you have to give up something,” Narvasa said. “Anong gusto mo? Sabi ni (Kia), I need a shooter, kasi meron silang Ballesteros, Caperal, tapos ngayon, makukuha nila si Jay-R Reyes.”
Narvasa justified the inclusion of Reyes as having two years of experience playing with four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo – at least in training sessions.
“He has practiced the last two years guarding Fajardo, so he’ll be able to help,” Narvasa said.
Naravasa also approved the Picanto’s decision to get Mccarthy as a trade piece, being a promising incoming sophomore playmaker who has already played with Mythical Five member Chris Ross.
“Kasi we need really a point guard and also, he knows how to guard Chris Ross,” Narvasa said.
Naravasa, though, declined the initial proposal of seldom-used sophomore Keith Agovida returning to the Picanto, prompting Kia to pick Tubid instead.
“Si Agovida, hindi pwede, because he came from you already and you need veterans, so you pick from the veterans,” Narvasa said. “They said, ‘Oh, sige, boss, kailangan namin ng shooter. Pwede ba namin kunin si Tubid?’ Sabi ko, mukhang pwede.’ Tinanong ko si Robert, sabi ko, ‘Boss, si Tubid?’ Sabi niya, ‘Medyo hindi yata’ kasi they also need Tubid as replacement for Lassiter."
But Narvasa was adamant that SMB should include Tubid or else the deal would be called off.
“If you cannot decide within an hour, you can consider the deal rejected,” Narvasa said, recalling the conversation with Non. “They called me up siguro mga 3 p.m. they accepted the deal and I have given them the approval already.”
Naravasa, though, bared Kia, curiously, didn’t ask for anyone among the SMB starting five of Fajardo, Ross, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, or Marcio Lassiter.
“No, they did not (for an SMB starter),” Narvasa said. “Because based on their philsopshy nga eh, mas gusto nga nila, they wanted to start with people who are ‘gutom.’”
“Ang sinasabi sa akin, gusto nila yung ‘palaban.’ Ayaw na nila yung superstars, kasi…iba na 'yung attitude eh, so the wanted to mold these people into their culture,” he added.