PBA: Are the Beermen really after Standhardinger?

Christian Standhardinger (FIBA.com photo)
Christian Standhardinger (FIBA.com photo)

The controversial PBA trade between Kia Picanto and the San Miguel Beermen will push through. PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa approved the deal Friday afternoon at a press conference held at the Philippine Arena before game 7 of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.

The trade was tweaked a bit, enough to convince Narvasa to give it the thumbs up. As previously reported, the Beermen will be sending Ronald Tubid, Rashawn McCarthy, Jay-R Reyes and a 2019 first-round pick.

The rigodon of players hardly made any eye-popping difference. SMB initially offered McCarthy, Reyes and Keith Agovida and a future pick. Tubid in lieu of Agovida was the only key change. And as one would guess, fans are not happy.

At any rate, the Beermen are all set to be the first team this coming Sunday when the 2017 PBA Draft gets underway at Robinsons Place Manila. The consensus is that Fil-German Christian Standhardinger will be the top pick this year. However, there are murmurs that SMB could pull a fast one and select Kiefer Ravena.

Kiefer Ravena (FIBA.com photo)
Kiefer Ravena (FIBA.com photo)

Why Kiefer?

In the 2017 PBA Draft Combine, the former Ateneo Blue Eagle star shone brightest among his compatriots. Standhardinger was not around since he has committed to play for Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the Asean Basketball League. The Fil-German asked to be excused from the 2017 PBA Draft Combine and will unlikely be around this Sunday.

Standhardinger is not expected to play his first PBA game until 2018. Ravena, on the other hand, can immediately suit up for any team that selects him. Assuming the Beermen do select him, will Ravena fit in with the loaded roster of San Miguel?

Tubid and McCarthy were unloaded but coach Leo Austria still has a lot of guards in the lineup. That includes Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, Matt Ganuelas Rosser, Von Pessumal and Brian Heruela.

Hence, selecting Ravena may not make sense unless the Beermen pull of separate trades to free up their backcourt.

Standhardinger logic

Aside from the fact that he is not due to play his first PBA game until 2018, there will be changes in the frontcourt of the Beermen. At the moment June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Gabby Espinas, Yancy de Ocampo and David Semerad comprise the frontcourt. Once Standhardinger is available, someone among Espinas, de Ocampo or Semerad could be spending longer minutes on the SMB bench.

This year, most saw how coach Austria used a three-guard rotation (Ross, Cabagnot and Lassiter). He could change that by using Santos at the small forward spot and inserting Standhardinger at the power forward.

If no changes will be made, Santos could be splitting minutes with the Fil-German as well. There is also the possibility that Standhardinger could spell Fajardo, a quality backup that makes the Beermen all the more dangerous.

There are plenty of possibilities. But the thing here is that SMB will be picking either Standhardinger or Ravena. With a loaded lineup, it will be interesting if the Fil-German is indeed their target. All that should be cleared up in the next 24 hours or so.