There were hardly any surprises at the 2017 PBA Draft. Fil-German Christian Standhardinger was unsurprisingly selected by the San Miguel Beermen while Kiefer Ravena joined the NLEX Road Warriors.
The PBA had to endure a tumultuous week marred by the backlash of dismayed fans and personalities. Kia Picanto was criticized for its decision to deal their privilege, something that PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa eventually approved. Kia Picanto governor Bobby Rosales explained their stand, something most felt a bit off.
Regardless, the SMB-Kia PBA trade is over and done with. The issue is expected to be talked about for some time though there are other repercussions to think about. That includes Standhardinger and Fajardo’s availability to the Gilas Pilipinas roster.
Will Fil-German still play?
Technically, Standhardinger played as an import for Gilas Pilipinas. He could still be technically called to suit up in the event that coach Chot Reyes and company run into problems like availability with either Andray Blatche or Isaac Austin.
Assuming that does happen, will SMB lend both? One is likely to be released by the franchise, a common agreement for all PBA ballclubs. But most know that Fajardo and Standhardinger are key big men that the Philippines will need in international competition.
Three Gilas players on SMB
Aside from Fajardo and Standhardinger, Von Pessumal is also on the SMB roster. The sweet-shooting guard is part of the Gilas Cadet squad, a selection that could also include the Fil-German like what happened in 2017.
Again, this means that SMB would be holding two members of the Gilas Pilipinas quintet. Pessumal is more than likely to be given the green light. He has hardly logged heavy minutes so allowing him to join the national team won’t matter much. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the 28-year-old Standhardinger – assuming he is called on.
Standhardinger is not expected to suit up until 2018 since he is still tied up with the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
The brouhaha of the controversial trade is still fresh in the minds of basketball fans but it looks like the Beermen’s road ahead will remain filled with speed bumps until the issue is actually laid to rest.