TRADING the much-coveted number one pick will now be prohibited.
That is, until next year.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the league's board of bovernors have unanimously agreed on locking up the top selection to the past season's worst team in the annual rookie draft starting 2019.
"Napag-usapan na yun ng board, pero hindi natin pa mai-implement this draft. So starting 2019, hindi na pwede," he said.
Columbian is set to claim the top pick for the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft, pencilled for December 16, but the team management has yet to formalize its plans going forward.
"We have not yet discussed that," team manager Joe Lipa said in a previous interview.
The Dyip, then known as Kia Picanto, sparked controversy in the buildup to last year's draft proceedings when it chose to trade the top selection to powerhouse San Miguel in exchange for a number of fringe players, namely Ronald Tubid, Jay-R Reyes, and Rashawn McCarthy, as well as the Beermen's 2019 first round pick.
That pick turned out to be Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger.
Marcial, though, allayed fears of that instance happening again as he expressed confidence on the stern judgment of his five-man committee in the event of another trade involving the number one pick.
"Lahat naman ng trade, kailangang dumaan sa committee. Basta dumaan sa committee, tiwala naman tayo na patas yun," he said of his team, composed of PBA legal counsel Melvin Mendoza, technical and operations head Eric Castro, and technical team members Junior Bengua and Roscelle Fabie Teotico.
Only in the event of the tie will Marcial step in and cast the deciding vote.