The recent trade between San Miguel and Terrafirma has been the trending topic in the PBA community for the past few days with majority claiming it is a terribly lopsided deal in favor of the powerhouse Beermen.
Strikingly similar to the controversial deal the same two teams pulled off in 2017 which ultimately led to the ouster of then-commissioner Chito Narvasa, the deal involves three seldom-used players plus a first round draft pick for a top overall selection.
Unlike the previous deal, however, wherein the commissioner had the sole power to approve or veto player swaps, the league now has a 5-man trade committee in place with a main objective of deciding whether a trade is fair and beneficial to both or all teams involved.
Commissioner Willie Marcial was originally part of the group together with deputy commissioner Erik Castro, technical officials Roscelle Teotico, Mauro Bengua, and legal counsel Melvin Mendoza but for some reason relinquished his post to former PBA player Joey Guanio just recently.
Former league chief Noli Eala slammed the move by Marcial and called it ‘very questionable’.
“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.
NLEX Road Warriors head coach Yeng Guiao, for his part, offered an unsolicited advice for Marcial and his trade committee.
“Listen to the fans,” said the 7-time PBA champion mentor.
“All I can say is ask the fans. The PBA is their league. Kung wala ang mga fans, we won’t even have a league to speak of.”