PBA: TNT KaTropa management criticizes Comm. Narvasa on SMB-KIA trade

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 29) — The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Rookie Draft is over, but the talk surrounding the controversial trade leading up to the event hasn’t quieted down.

The controversy revolves around the San Miguel-KIA transaction which saw KIA’s overall first pick, which became Filipino-German big man Christian Standhardinger, traded for a package consisting of Jay-R Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, Ronald Tubid, a future pick.

The management of the TNT KaTropa decried the way PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa handled the issue.

In an impromptu press conference held before Game 7 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between Ginebra and Meralco, Narvasa revealed that TNT assistant manager Magnum Membrere submitted draft requirements for Standhardinger.

But the commissioner said that he had received a soft copy of the application from the Fil-German’s agent.

Narvasa also bared that KIA received multiple offers for their top pick, and was surprised to find out that it was San Miguel that figured as one of the proponents for the trade.

The commissioner’s decision to reveal that Membrere, an official of the national team, had submitted documents on Standhardinger’s behalf, did not sit well with the TNT management.

“TNT management resents the statement of Commissioner Narvasa,” a statement handed over to the media by TNT assistant manager Virgil Villavicencio said. “Just proves he is biased. Magnum Membrere was there as a representative of Smart Gilas. It was a sincere gesture to assist Standhardinger.”

“Why did he have to use us to justify his decision?” the statement said.

Narvasa approved the trade, but the idea of Standhardinger pairing up with, instead of opposing reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo didn’t sit well with TNT.

“(Narvasa’s) decision robs the PBA of the dynamism, excitement, and suspense that a player of Christian Standhardinger’s caliber would bring going against Fajardo,” the statement said. “If the commissioner does not see this simple perspective, he may not be the right person for the job.”

“He (Narvasa) talks about parity, equilibrium for trades, but where is it?” the statement added.