PUREFOODS has just two words for any team entertaining hopes of landing James Yap in a trade.
A day after KIA Motors signified its intention to trade its first-round pick for the Purefoods star, Hotshots team governor Rene Pardo said parting ways with Yap is just like trading longtime resident star turned team manager Alvin Patrimonio during his prime.
“(Trading) James Yap is non-negotiable," Pardo told Spin.ph, adding any move involving Yap requires discussion with the big bosses. "He has been the face of the PBA and of the franchise since Alvin Patrimonio retired, so trading him requires a discussion from everybody including the team owner.”
Patrimonio played his entire league career with Purefoods, which showed its intent of keeping the four-time MVP when it matched the then record P25-million, five-year offer sheet given to the former Mapua forward by Pepsi.
Pardo made the comparison between the case of Patrimonio and Yap as his way of sending the message to KIA Motors team manager Eric Pineda, who earlier bared to Spin.ph the team’s desire to trade its precious 2015 first-round pick in exchange for the two-time league MVP.
Pardo admitted all 10 teams no longer in the running in the Commissioner’s Cup are involved in trade talks in one way or another. But he insisted nothing has been finalized from their end.
“Lahat naman may talks at negotiations. Kaming mga sampung teams nag-uusap naman,” he said.
But Pardo assured that Yap won't be part of any trade involving Purefoods, which he said benefited from the image and charismatic personality of the 33-year-old gunner out of University of the East.
“We can’t deny the fact that he (Yap) has provided a lot of marketing value to Purefoods,” said the amiable Purefoods executive. “He has a wholesome image and he’s well-liked by the people, so at this point, may intangible value siya na nadala na sa team.”
But Pardo said he understands where Pineda is coming from, adding he is aware how KIA is looking for ways to improve its stock next season.
However, Pardo doubts if is worth giving up Yap’for a blue-chip rookie such as Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa, who is considered as the consensus top pick for the coming rookie draft.
“Kung ikaw man ang nasa katayuan ng KIA, you will try to bargain for their draft pick,” he said. “But is trading James worth it for Tautuaa?”