|Mo Tautuaa's Best Player performance against Phoenix turned out to be his last game for NorthPort. PBA Media Group (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—In a surprise move on Monday, San Miguel and NorthPort agreed to swap their prime big men.
The Beermen acquired Mo Tautuaa from the Batang Pier in exchange for Chris Standhardinger in a trade involving former number one picks.
Tautuaa, the top pick in the 2015 PBA Draft, was enjoying a career renaissance at NorthPort prior to the trade, and as of now, he is averaging 11.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists a night in the ongoing PBA Governors' Cup.
Interestingly enough, the trade came two nights after he led the team to a slump snapping win against Phoenix.
[Related Story: NorthPort stifles Phoenix to snap skid]
Standhardinger, on the other hand, became a reliable backup at the center position to Junemar Fajardo after being drafted first overall by SMB in the 2017 draft, which became controversial due to Columbian, the original owner of the first pick, passing up on a chance to take Standhardinger and trading the said selection to SMB for three active players.
[Related Story: On 3rd try, Kia-SMB trade for top pick finally approved]
However, Standhardinger's minutes with the Beermen dwindled a bit recently especially with the arrival of stretch-5 Kelly Nabong.
On Sunday night against Barangay Ginebra, Standhardinger played for 16 minutes, scoring just two points, two rebounds, one assist, and two steals.
Tautuaa will debut for SMB on Sunday night against Columbian at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Standhardinger, on the other hand, will suit up for NorthPort on Oct. 23 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay, interestingly against Tautuaa and SMB.
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