Mendoza: Stunning Standhardinger-Slaughter swap

Al Mendoza
·2 min read

As I said in my last piece, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has this uncanny talent to stun us with its player-dealing abilities.

Management-wise on player affairs, SMC appears flawless.

Amazingly, the SMC top brass’ style of handling personnel movements looks as easy as shuffling Bicycle cards all this time.

Look, all three SMC teams — San Miguel Beer, Magnolia and Ginebra San Miguel — continue to dominate the PBA, gobbling up titles like slot machines swallowing coins in wild abandon.

And not just players we’re talking about here. Even coaches have become not as untouchable as drug lords, as in chess pieces being planted consistently to menacing positions — from the opening, to midgame to endgame.

Who could forget SMC’s genius move to pluck Tim Cone out of Alaska?

It had looked impossible at first to happen, given that Cone had been an Ace fixture for decades — his friendship with Alaska owner Wilfred Uytengsu dating back to their toddler days.

But the master stroke on Cone could only come from SMC’s main man, undeniably responsible himself into diversifying the conglomerate to game-changing platforms like power, fuel, infrastructure, livestock & poultry to go with its flagship food, brewery and beverage lineups that are of no equal in all of Asia.

And, as quickly as Cone was snared, Cone gave SMC a second Grand Slam in lightning speed — in the process making Cone himself the first two-time Slam champion in league history in 1996 with Alaska and in 2014 with San Mig Coffee. (SMC’s first Slam was in 1989.)

Look what SMC has just given Cone: Christian Standhardinger. The 6-foot-8 Fil-German is joining Barangay Ginebra as Cone shipped 7-footer Greg Slaughter to Northport.

The Standhardinger-Slaughter swap completes a trio of blockbuster trades for SMC’s three teams, adding the arrival of scoring machine CJ Perez to SMB and beast-powered Calvin Abueva to Magnolia.

Who could have thought Standhardinger would return to SMC this fast? Seems like only yesterday when Standhardinger was an SMB mainstay.

Nothing seems to surprise me anymore — as in Ramon S. Ang, the SMC top gun, suddenly running for president?

That will be the day.