Kia dangles top draft pick
Kia is not discounting the possibility of trading its top pick in the PBA Draft late this month provided that it gets what it wants to shore up its shallow bench.
Team manager Eric Pineda said the team is not closing the door on suitors hoping to get the No. 1 selection, which the team will get based on its finish after three conferences.
“It’s possible, we’re not closing the door,” said Pineda in a phone interview with the Bulletin. “The important thing of course is whatever is best for the team, that’s what we’ll do.”
“But for now, nothing is final. We have yet to talk (together with the coaches) on what we’ll do,” added Pineda, a business partner of Kia coach and boxing legend, Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
In the first two conferences of the PBA, Kia – then using the name Mahindra – finished with similar 3-8 cards, placing 10th in both the Philippine Cup and the Commissioner’s Cup.
In the Governors’ Cup, the team failed to notch a single win in 11 matches to finish last at 12th place overall.
The league’s Commissioner’s Office has yet to come out with the official drafting order, but under PBA rules, the order will be based on the combined finish of a team in all three conferences, which gives Kia the No. 1 overall pick in the draft on Oct. 29 at the Robinson’s Place Ermita.
An expansion franchise back in 2014, Kia actually has a history of trading a high rookie pick.
In 2015, Kia selected former National University stalwart and Gilas Pilipinas cadet Troy Rosario with the second overall pick, but a few days later, the 6-foot-7 forward was dealt to TNT in a three-team trade.