KIA says Jayson Castro trade yet to be discussed; team determined to acquire big man from PBA draft
Kia, the worst rebounding team in the Philippine Cup, is hoping to land someone like Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa to boost its frontline. Dante Peralta

ALTHOUGH acquiring a playmaker of Jayson Castro’s caliber may be appealing, Kia team manager Eric Pineda said the Sorento for now are looking to boost their frontline through the next rookie draft to be able to compete against the league’s elite squads like San Miguel Beer, Ginebra and Purefoods Star.

Moala Tautuaa, a 6-foot-6 Fil-Tongan now playing in the D-League, is among the top PBA aspirants being eyed by Kia and Pineda said the reported trade plans by Talk ’N Text hasn’t been discussed by Kia management.

[See Talk 'N Text ready to trade Jayson Castro for Kia rookie draft pick to get hands on blue-chips Parks, Ravena, according to source]

“Di pa talaga iyan (Castro reported trade) napag-uusapan, though if you look at Jayson, maaasahan naman siya day in day out, but as much as possible, we want to keep our first round draft pick for next season,” Pineda told

Pineda, explained that this year’s PBA rookie draft is teeming with big men, whom the Sorento can build the franchise around.

Aside from Tautuaa, the Kia executive cited Fil-Tongan Moala also mentioned La Salle big man Norbert Torres as a possible pick in the 2015-16 PBA draft, along with two-time UAAP MVP Bobby Ray Parks.

“We need a big man. Eh siyempre, nandiyan si Tautuaa saka Norbert Torres na parehong mga bigs, nandun pa si Bobby Ray, so sa amin naman, it’s about looking at what is being offered first,” he said.

“Pero with Tautuaa, he has the potential to dominate.”

Tautuaa is currently playing for the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns in the PBA D-League in compliance with the PBA rookie draft requirements.

Kia, which started its PBA campaign with a win but lost the next 10 games before bowing out, was the worst-rebounding team of the Philippine Cup with its measly 43.9 rebounds per contest average.

The Sorento will resume their practice on Monday with Pacquiao expected to join the team as they prepare for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Peter John Ramos, a 7-foot-1 Puerto Rican player, will be planing in on January 8, according to Pineda, and will join Kia’s practice the following day.

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