IN 2018, the PBA prohibited the trading of the No. 1 pick of the rookie draft in an offshoot to a controversial deal between Columbian (now Terrafirma) and San Miguel the year prior that enabled the Beermen to get Christian Standhardinger.
The league adopted the rule to avoid a repeat of the controversial deal that saw the Dyip give up the right to draft Fil-German Standhardinger to the Beermen for Ronald Tubid, Rashawn McCarthy, and a 2019 first-round draft pick.
That trade was questioned not just by fans but also by team officials and sparked a crisis within the league that led to the resignation of then commissioner Chito Narvasa.
Well, the first time the No. 1 draft pick was traded didn’t spark as much controversy.
On February 13, 1987, three days before the actual draft, Great Taste acquired the first overall pick from Shell in order to move up the draft order and get its hands on a outside shooter from University of the East named Allan Caidic.
Caidic was the consensus No. 1 pick in the lean draft that only had eight players, including Cebuano hotshot Al Solis, FEU's Harmon Codinera, PABL standouts Guillermo Valerio and Dennis Carbonilla, Letran's Cayetano Salazar, Cebu's Anthony Mendoza, and former UST and Northern Consolidated guard Benjie Gutierrez.
To make the deal, Great Taste had to give up two key players in Manny Victorino and Jimmy Manansala. Aside from the No. 1 pick, the Coffee Makers also got Philip Cezar and Bernie Fabiosa from the Oilers.
Victorino then was among the PBA’s elite, having won the Most Improved Player award in 1984 while also making the Mythical Five from 1984 to 1986. There was also a time when Victorino was part of the 'Protected List' with former MVPs Mon Fernandez and Abet Guidaben.
Great Taste made the deal after coming off a season in which it placed runner-up to Tanduay in the Reinforced Conference.
“GTC team manager Ignacio Gotao, who is determined to find a team that would put the Coffee Makers back on the winning trail, yesterday concluded an agreement with Shell, No. 1 team in this year’s draft, under which it could get top amateur pick Allan Caidic in exchange for Manny Victorino, whom the Oilers long wanted,” wrote Manny Angeles in his story on the trade for Manila Standard.
To say that the Gokongwei-owned Great Taste franchise benefited from the deal is an understatement.
Caidic won three championships with the franchise and was both Rookie of the Year and league MVP and set a number of scoring and three-point shooting records that exist to this day while wearing the Great Taste/Presto uniform.
He was acquired by San Miguel in 1993 after the Great Taste franchise was sold to Sta. Lucia Realty.
Following that trade between Great Taste and Shell, the rights to the No. 1 draft pick was never traded unless it was included of a previous transaction.
An example of that is the 2011 deal struck between Petron and Barako Bull in which the Blaze Boosters obtained the Energy’s 2012 first-round draft pick that turned out to be the No. 1 overall selection used to select June Mar Fajardo.