Kia eyes Standhardinger as Tim Duncan-like base for rebuild, shrugs off Pacquiao exit report
Kia team manager Eric Pineda on Pacquiao departure from franchise: 'Bali-balita lang yun.' Jerome Ascano

DESPITE ending up winless in the PBA Governors Cup, KIA is looking forward to the next season with optimism.

Besides, team manager Eric Pineda is looking at the silver lining with the Picanto ending up as the owner of the no. 1 overall rookie pick in the coming draft.

"That's what we got in return," said Pineda Friday night as the Picanto were thrashed by the Star Hotshots, 128-81, to end their campaign in the season-ending meet as the only winless team after losing all of their 11 games.

Judging from the way he talked in a brief interview with at the Mall of Asia Arena, KIA seemed bent on rebuilding the franchise behind the rookie player it will pick in the Oct 29 draft.

Pineda didn't mention any particular player the Picanto are eyeing in the draft, but obviously was referring to Fil-German Christian Standhardinger when he mentioned the team is looking to model the franchise behind the San Antonio Spurs.

"Parang San Antonio Spurs lang, they invested on Tim Duncan by making him the top rookie pick and then surrounding him with good players," said the 1Pacman party list representative.

Standhardinger already made himself available in the draft, but the team that will pick him has to wait at least until the mid-season Commissioner's Cup to get his services as he has a contractual obligation to the Hongkong Eastern Long Lions in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) starting this November.

Pineda believes the 6-foot-7 Standhardinger is worth waiting for, so much so he repeatedly nodded his head when asked if they're willing to trade the no. 1 pick.

At the same time, the KIA team manager refused to expound on the report about Manny Pacquiao finally leaving the team as playing-coach.

"Bali-balita lang yun," he said.

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