The sudden departure of star forward Ranidel de Ocampo may have left a gaping hole in the heart of the TNT KaTropa team as well as for its fans and supporters but everything may seem as temporary setback as management apparently has a well-thought-out plan for the franchise.
With de Ocampo finding its way to Meralco, threading the same path as TNT stars and former teammates Jimmy Alapag and Jared Dillinger, the KaTropa have gained additional pieces from the trade which can be used to soften and eventually mitigate the impact of de Ocampo’s transfer.
TNT received Norbert Torres and a 2017 first round pick from Phoenix. The draft pick is San Miguel’s, previously acquired by the Fuel Masters from a previous trade deal.
And that pick along with its own pick in the upcoming rookie draft, TNT is planning to package both along with a player or two in the hopes of enticing KIA to part with its very precious first round pick.
“Yan yung target. To sweeten the pot so to speak. TNT wants Standhardinger badly as they see him as that player who will start a new chapter for their squad,” said a reliable source.
With the way things are going for the Manny Pacquiao-coached franchise, chances are high that KIA will land the much-coveted top pick in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft which is scheduled on October 29. – Victor Adea