PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial will not stray from his usual stance when it comes to deciding on trades. Not even if it means putting his job on the line.
Marcial reiterated this yesterday while awaiting the decision of the PBA trade committee regarding the controversial trade that would send Terrafirma’s CJ Perez to San Miguel Beer for three players and a first round pick in the coming Season 46 Rookie Draft.
“Kung ano man iyon, di ko papakialaman iyon,” Marcial told Malaya-Business Insight, referring to the decision to be arrived at by the committee tasked with assessing the fairness of each proposed deal.
“Ngayon pa lang alam kong kinakatay na ako, pero I’ll stand by the decision ng committee,” added Marcial.
As of press time yesterday, the group made up of league legal counsel Melvin Mendoza, Deputy Commissioner Eric Castro and technical group members Joey Guanio, Rose Teotico and Junior Bengua has yet to come up with a decision.
Marcial said he will stand by the committee’s decision, whatever it is, sticking to his practice since assuming office in January 2018.
Marcial took over from Chito Narvasa, whose approval of the controversial trade between Kia (now Terrafirma) and SMB for the rights to the former’s No. 1 pick overall in the 2017 draft led to Narvasa’s exit. The Beermen used those acquired rights to nab Christian Standhardinger.
This latest trade is practically similar to the previous one since SMB will once again be giving up three role players in Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Gelo Alolino and Russell Escoto, plus the Beermen’s No. 8 pick overall in the draft set March 14.
Perez is a 2019 Rookie of the Year awardee and reigning two-time scoring champion seen as a future superstar and sure to make SMB’s powerhouse lineup led by six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo even stronger.
Terrafirma management has explained that the decision to trade away its top player is mainly to get an additional first round pick aside from the team’s top pick overall.
But the proposed trade has drawn mostly negative reactions from fans since it came out in several media outlets last Friday.
Marcial is aware of the outcry but insisted the ball is out of his hands.
“Nandiyan ang trade committee,” he pointed out. “Since Day One hindi ko naman pinakialaman iyan. Kung ano ang desisyon nila rerespetuhin ko.”