Blackwater coach Leo Isaac is in a bind.
He ONLY has the third pick of the 2017 PBA Draft and he needs to wait for San Miguel and NLEX to choose between Christian Standhardinger, Kiefer Ravena, and Jeron Teng (because Kia is like a rebellious, dreamless teen at the moment) before they decide the player they are after.
And while I know my page I stacked with “I hate Kia” articles, let it be known that San Miguel has every right to request a trade… just like Kia has every right to ignore or reject it.
But while the consensus third overall pick of the 2017 PBA Draft is DLSU Green Archer alum Jeron Teng… the Blackwater Elite might pull a shocker by selecting either FEU Tamaraw Raymar Jose or fellow Archer Jason Perkins.
So here’s an age-old draft question: position over talent… or vice versa?
If this is the case, then Michael Jordan should have gone first over Sam Bowie. Jordan is perceived by many as the greatest player to play the sport while Bowie struggled to keep himself healthy during his career. The former Kentucky Wildcat achieved bust status for getting drafted ahead of the basketball icon and while Hakeem Olajuwon was the first overall pick of the 1984 NBA Draft, well Houston got a lot of awesome things under The Dream’s watch. But then again, the Portland Trail Blazers are stacked with shooters and slashers during that time and the world could have missed out on the GOAT version of Air Jordan if he shared shot selections with Jim Paxson and gasp… Clyde Drexler.
Now I get what Blackwater is saying. Chris Ellis has yet to see action for the squad. Who knows how he’ll turn out? Ellis’ has been in the PBA since 2012 and his offense has been extremely limited. Meanwhile, new acquisition and bargain-of-a-catch Allein Maliksi is driving nuts and bolts on Blackwater’s winning foundation. If Kia wants to send their team to gutter hell, The Elite are trying their best to target big names. Henry Walker sent Mac Belo to cheerleader duties in the Governors’ Cup but the FEU stalwart should reclaim his minutes in the Philippine Cup. Roi Sumang and Mike DiGregorio need to change their somewhat “offensive” offense (sometimes they would shoot triples without an offensive rebound ooportunity) but I can see the duo evolving.
But yeah, JP Erram is the team’s only believable inside threat at the moment.
It’s as if we already forgotten how they lost Moala Tautuaa for basically Larry Rodriguez and how they threw away a possible Wynne Arboleda 2.0 in Brian Heruela.
Jeron Teng is a certified go-to-guy but Raymar Jose is what the team thinks they need at the moment. Sure, Jose is no stranger playing second fiddle to Belo but Jose has improved his game in leaps and bounds. Like I said in my past articles, I see Jose as the Troy Rosario of this draft and I can see the former FEU stalwart to eventually shove his superstardom to all the naysayers.
If I would choose between position and talent however, I would choose position. As mentioned in an earlier paragraph, Jordan wouldn’t be Jordan if he didn’t land on a team that would use his talents wisely. But in Blackwater’s case however, I think the Elite need to enhance their shooting guard spot before their center position. Sure, it would be difficult for the Elite to defend against June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter in the Philippine Cup… but they will have a good opportunity to reach for the heavens during the import-laden conferences.
If there is one thing the Elite should act upon, it’s their lack of finishing kicks. We saw how big Allein Maliksi was during their quarterfinal match against the Meralco Bolts but we also saw how unreliable their shooting turned out when Walker got tired. DiGregorio was shooting bricks, the rest of the team is passing the ball with zero aim, and their scorers are limited to the outside shot.
Like I said, smart money for Blackwater is to equip their selves with a player like Jeron Teng.
I can see DiGregorio at the point, Jeron Teng as the two-guard, Allein Maliksi playing small forward, Belo on four, and Erram at center.
Not unless they are bent on destroying the draft plan of Phoenix (another team in need of height), I think they are better off with Jeron Teng in the fold.