PBA Commissioner Chito Salud gives a speech at Sunday's PBA Rookie Draft. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Chito Salud on Monday said he saw no “blatantly lopsided” trades during the day of the 2013 PBA Rookie Draft.
“A team can strengthen its line-up through trades and/or draft picks,” Salud said in a statement. “I did not perceive any blatantly lopsided trades during the draft.”
The statement was likely a response to the draft day trades made by the Barako Bull Energy, who originally held the fourth, fifth and sixth picks in the draft, which was considered to be the deepest in years.
Yet Barako opted to trade all of their three first round draft picks. They sent the fourth overall pick to Ginebra in exchange for Rico Maierhofer and Willy Wilson, the fifth pick to Petron in exchange for Mark Isip and Magi Sison, and the sixth pick to GlobalPort in exchange for Denok Miranda.
Ginebra eventually selected James Forrester with the fourth pick, while Petron sent the fifth pick to GlobalPort, who used it to select Terrence Romeo. GlobalPort then took RR Garcia with the sixth pick.
Barako’s transactions drew criticisms not only from the fans, but even from businessman Manny V. Pangilinan, who tweeted: “Barako gave up all its first round picks, and did its second round. ‘The world wonders.’ – Admiral Chester W. Nimitz :).”
Salud stands by his decision to approve the trades, however, although he leaves it to the teams to explain the rationale behind the trades.
“If the issue is the strategy, wisdom and rationale behind Barako’s or any other team’s decision to trade their picks for current stars or vice versa, that’s obviously not within my province to explain or second guess,” said Salud.
“It remains clearly and solely within the ball clubs’ prerogative and the teams would thus be in the position to explain the direction they have chosen to take, provided of course there are no one-sided trades involved,” he added.
“In any case, I keep a watchful eye on these things as our member teams are aware.”
Aside from the transactions made by Barako during the day of the draft itself, they had also previously sent promising young guard Emman Monfort to Ginebra in exchange for Rob Labagala.
Barako also traded big man Enrico Villanueva to GlobalPort in exchange for Willie Miller and Hans Thiele.