PBA OIC Willie Marcial, the league’s longtime media bureau chief who was recently appointed by the board as officer-in-charge after the sudden resignation of commissioner Chito Narvasa, has formed a five-man committee whose main responsibility is to ensure that forthcoming player trades between teams are certified fair and square.
The move came as a result of the controversial trade between powerhouse San Miguel Beermen and league laughing stock KIA Picanto wherein the 3-time defending Philippine Cup champions got an added boost by acquiring the Picanto’s much-coveted first round pick in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft which turned out to be Fil-German Christian Standhardinger.
KIA received SMB benchwarmers Jay-R Reyes, Ronald Tubid and Rashawn McCarthy along with the team’s 1st round pick in the 2019 Rookie Draft in the deal which was mysteriously approved by Narvasa despite the glaring imbalance. The transaction was understandably frowned upon by a great number of the league’s followers.
The go-signal for the lopsided deal likewise triggered an uproar amongst the governors with one group asking for the immediate resignation of Narvasa while the other wanted a status quo.
The impasse almost stalled the opening of the new season.
Narvasa finally gave in to pressure and resigned during the opening of the league’s 43rd season.
Marcial, who has been the media bureau head since the time of Noli Eala, formally assumed the post of OIC at the turn of the year.
The five-man committee will be composed of PBA legal counsel Melvin Mendoza, technical team members Junior Bengua and Roscelle Fabie Teotico, and technical director Eric Castro with Marcial himself serving as the fifth member and shall act as the tie-breaker in case the committee voting ends in a draw.
“From now on, we’ll be discussing these trades as a group and each one will have a say,” said Marcial.
Prior to the five-man committee, trade approvals was solely the discretion of the commissioner.