AS one of the longest-tenured coaches in the PBA, Tim Cone couldn’t help but feel nostalgic when the one-on-one trade between big men Greg Slaughter and Christian Standhardinger was finally consummated by Barangay Ginebra and NorthPort.
The 63-year-old Cone admitted the trade brought him back to the 80s when multiple MVPs Ramon Fernandez and Abet Guidaben were still the elite big men who got involved in a direct trade with each other not once, but twice.
Can’t blame Cone for going throwback on a Friday.
Just like Fernandez and Guidaben when they were first traded in 1985, both Standhardinger and Slaughter are in the prime of their playing careers.
Slaughter, the top overall pick of the 2013 draft, was Rookie of the Year, was named Best Player of the Conference in the 2017 Governors Cup, made the Mythical Team selection twice, and won four championships with the Kings.
Standhardinger, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2017, was a Best Player of the Conference awardee in the 2019 Governors Cup, made the Mythical Team once, and was part of two championships while still with San Miguel.
“The trade reminds me of the old days when Mon Fernandez and Abet Guidaben would be traded for each other. Both premier big men with different skills,” said Cone of the Slaughter-Standhardinger deal.
No doubt, the biggest blockbuster trade so far this offseason will go down as one of the most memorable transactions in league history involving two big men.
But apart from it, and the two Fernandez for Guidaben swaps – the two were again traded for each other late in their careers in 1988 – there were other PBA one-on-one trades in the past that also concerned marque slotmen. recalls some of these trades:
PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
The gangling 6-foot-9 Aquino was a franchise player in the making when Ginebra tabbed him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 draft. And it didn’t come as a surprise that the move bore fruit just a year after the seed was planted as the franchise won the Commissioner’s Cup championship during the 1997 season.
But the partnership was over by the year 2000 as Ginebra decided to take a new direction following the exit of longtime leader Robert Jaworski two seasons earlier. One by one, the core of that Ginebra unit was dismantled and Aquino was no exception. The many-time national player was dealt by the team to Sta. Lucia – his former ballclub in the amateurs – for another Rookie of the Year and fellow No. 1 pick (1993) Limpot in a direct trade.
In one of the most shocking deals in PBA history before the turn of the century, Purefoods parted ways with Codinera, one of the two remaining original members of the franchise when it entered the league in 1988, for young big man Andy Seigle of Mobiline. The 6-foot-5 Codinera, one of the top defensive players of all-time, had become synonymous to the Hotdogs and vice versa, that it sent shockwaves around the league when the team let go of him to get the services of the slam-dunking Mobiline Fil-Am, who was Rookie of the Year in 1997. Codinera’s departure also marked the end of one of the most lethal frontcourt partnerships in league history.
For a long time, the 6-foot-9 Taulava was the face of the TnT franchise, which stood behind him in good times and bad. A direct hire of the Texters in 1999, the Fil-Tongan was no doubt a big hit for the telecommunication ballclub who was a major part of its first ever championship in 2003 during which he was also named MVP. But the long partnership came to an end when the Texters bid Taulava adieu in a trade that caught everybody by surprise, sending him to Coca-Cola for brawny 6-foot-4 Peek midway through the 2006-07 Philippine Cup.
PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
Standhardinger himself was part of a similar one-for-one trade not too long ago after San Miguel struck a deal with NorthPort in exchange for Tautuaa’s services in the latter part of 2019. The 6-foot-8 Fil-German was coming off his second straight championship with San Miguel when the trade was consummated involving two former No. 1 overall picks.

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