The PBA trade committee is facing a very daunting task after Terrafirma and San Miguel agreed on a trade which sent league followers ablaze on social media.
The two teams were previously involved in a high-profile player swap which eventually resulted in the ouster of then-commissioner Chito Narvasa.
The controversial official placed his stamp of approval on a deal which sent the Dyip’s top overall pick in the 2017 draft to the powerhouse Beermen in exchange for reserves Ronald Tubid, JR Reyes, Fil-Am Rashawn McCarthy and a first round pick in the 2018 draft which turned out to be Christian Balagasay.
The Leo Austria-mentored squad drafted Christian Standhardinger and the 6-foot-8 Fil-German was instrumental in the team’s title conquests in the 2019 Philippine and Commissioner’s Cup. He was eventually dealt to NorthPort and went on to capture the Best Player award for the 2019 Governors’ Cup.
Fast forward to 2021 and the Beermen are hot on the trail once more of the Dyip’s top overall choice. And on the afternoon of Friday January 29, the two teams agreed on a deal which would send CJ Perez to San Miguel in exchange for three players – Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Gelo Alolino and Russel Escoto to go along with the number 8 pick in the upcoming rookie draft.
Through a post on his Twitter account, former league commissioner Noli Eala aired his sentiments over the mind-boggling deal.
“PBA teams will do everything to win. That’s inherent in competition. It’s up to the PBA to ensure propriety in trades that are supposed to achieve that goal while keeping league integrity. Now those that have no intention of winning championships have no business being in the PBA,” he wrote.
Another concern is the recent admission of Commissioner Willie Marcial that he has relinquished his role as the tiebreaking vote in the league’s 5-man trade committee. The distinction now belongs to former PBA player Joey Guanio who is joined in the group by deputy commissioner Erik Castro, technical officials Roscelle Teotico, Mauro Bengua, and legal counsel Melvin Mendoza.
“In fairness to commissioner Willie, I think he has the best interests in his heart. The problem is delegating to job to a five-man committee is, to me, very questionable. It’s in the league’s constitution that the commissioner will decide the trades. Unless they’ve made changes, I do not understand this position that an independent five-man committee will work on the trade,” said Eala.
“These are men of propriety. They are excellent. But then again, they are employees. They are not independent people who review trades who aren’t connected to the PBA. That leaves a lot of questions rather than answers when you bring this up,” he added.