by Dennis Principe
It seems that the KIA Picanto are set to let go of their potential 2018 top draft pick to a team willing to give them the player or players they want to have on their own team.
With this conference’s trade dealings set to end 12 noon today, KIA has reportedly dangled that pick and measure its overall market worth.
Almost a cinch to claim the top pick due to their inferior record the current season, KIA is willing to pass up on the opportunity to gain Fil-German sensation Christian Standhardinger so long as they acquire a certified game changer.
A source from within the KIA camp reveals the team’s think tank wants to sign up veteran players known for their versatility and proven pedigree as they aim to make a winning campaign next season.
Their main reason, the source revealed, is the planned involvement of the team’s registered coach Manny Pacquiao.
“Boss Manny will have full control of the team by next season. That is actually the plan. There will be an announcement after the team’s final game this season,” disclosed the source “That’s basically the plan, for him to call the shots, specifically on the managerial aspect.”
With Pacquiao said to be ready to take on a hands on approach next season, the boxing icon is reportedly not interested in going through a rebuilding process.
Among those players KIA are willing to obtain in exchange for their top pick are Ranidel De Ocampo and Kelly Williams of TNT KaTropa, Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine and Calvin Abueva of Alaska.
“Alam ni Boss (Manny Pacquiao) very enticing yung pick nila kasi nga malamang Standhardinger yun,” added the source “Pero parang wala na silang patience to see whether that kid would turn out to be a star or a draft bust.”
Recently, Pacquiao was said to be in talks with Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy regarding the ballclub’s coaching job.
Sy admitted to Manila Bulletin their meeting which was initially about a boxing program in China but it eventually led to a potential Blackwater coaching gig for Pacquiao.
“You know him. Hindi naman tumatanggi yan especially if he’s talking with people he considers friends,” added the source “Pero at least sa KIA management side, alam nila may plano pa sila for next season with Boss Manny at the helm.”