So blogging like a goof from a random watering hole in Robinson’s… Galleria (which means I doing this remote), this is my sort-of-live 2017 PBA Draft blog.
Before anything else, let me keep things in perspective for all of you.
San Miguel does need it… if you disregard Leo Austria’s rotation… which is why they latched on Kia’s pick. They could go as big as Christian Standhardinger or as safe as Kiefer Ravena. Either way, the player who’s left will likely land to the NLEX Road Warriors. Meanwhile, Blackwater is looking for size at the third spot. Phoenix is in need of size at number four with Alaska swapping picks with GlobalPort and in search of a potential star player in the midst. The Batang Pier on the other hand should shore up their frontline. Rain or Shine is looking for additional firepower with Phoenix drafting again looking for the best player left. Star is on the lookout for additional firepower (I like to repeat my words) and with two late first round picks, I’m guessing TNT will pad their bench.
Ginebra doesn’t need picks. Which means their pick is the draft whammy.
And on with the show.
I wonder what kind of intermission did they prepared for us.
The First Round
1 – San Miguel Beermen: Christian Standhardinger
Oh thank goodness they stuck to their script! I am not saying the PBA is scripted… but we were led to believe that they were taking Standhardinger and I’m glad the Beermen didn’t swerve us. I guess SMB is Standhardinger’s logical choice with the Gilas mainstay finishing his contract with the Hong Kong Eastern Lions. The guy is more than PBA-ready but as an old rookie, I bet he wants to take the league by storm. Question is though, how can he do this if he’s the frontcourt partner of the greatest PBA player of the last decade? Regardless, San Miguel wanted his services bad and for the rest of the league, brace yourselves as the 6’8 banger comes in to back up a 6’10 4-time MVP and an outstanding crew that would probably give the old Crispa Redmanizers squad a run for their money!
2 – NLEX Road Warriors: Kiefer Ravena
So Kiefer Ravena goes to NLEX and I bet the MVP group is giddy. We have seen Kiefer grow up and soar to elite amateur levels. The guy is a winner, he makes his teammates look good, and I bet Yeng Guiao is more than happy to start this guy with all of his awesomeness.
3 – Blackwater Elite: Raymar Jose
So Blackwater wanted height and height they got with the former FEU slotman. I guess he shown his brilliance during the international tilts but I don’t know if his game would translate in the PBA right from the get-go. Just look at Carl Bryan Cruz.
4 – Phoenix Fuel Masters: Jason Perkins
Oh shiiiiiiiiiit! Phoenix wanted height and Jose got away from their grasps. So the next step? Get it via Jason Perkins. Now I still think Jeron Teng is better than both but the Fuel Masters already has Matt Wright alongside JC Intal and Jeff Chan so that’s overloading that position. Perkins has been PBA-ready since 2016 so he is a good pick for the Fuel Masters.
5 – Alaska Aces: Jeron Teng
Prayers answered for the Alaska peeps! With Blackwater and Phoenix snubbing the former DLSU hitman, the Aces finally got the scorer they lost with the departures of Cyrus Baguio and RJ Jazul. This is a great pickup in so many levels as it also restores Alaska’s lack of talent depth with a certified go-to-guy. This is like manna from heaven for the Aces I tell you! And to think, the last PBA team Alvin Teng played in the PBA is Alaska!!!
6 – GlobalPort Batang Pier: Robbie Herndon
So Robbie Herndon gets the cue for GlobalPort. I guess they were hoping for Jason Perkins but this guy did well at the draft combine. He is a shooter that can act as a combo forward… which means he’s going to be their version of Anthony Semerad when they had him. I guess Herndon could luck out battling Macmac Cardona and Mac Baracael for the starting SF spot.
7 – Rain or Shine Elasto Painters: Rey Nambatac
This is a good pick. Sure, Rain or Shine started out stacked in the slasher and shooter spots with the arrival of James Yap but ever since they moved Jeff Chan to Phoenix, their SF spot became awfully thin. And it’s not like Rain or Shine has the Yap of old. Perhaps the Letran Knight can even overtake Jericho Cruz as the starting SG of the squad. It also helps that Caloy Garcia once coached Nambatac during their Letran days.
8 – Phoenix Fuel Masters: Sidney Onwubere
Correct me if I’m wrong but is he the first ever first round pick of the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals? In an instant, Phoenix solved their frontline woes. If Perkins can help in the PF spot then this guy could anchor their cause as center. While I thought Phoenix would go for the big man-small man shtick, picking two bigs serve best for their franchise. This double-double magnet could be the steal of the draft.
9 – Star Hotshots: Lervin Flores
With no less than The Defense Minister as mentor, the Star Hotshots select Arellano Chief Lervin Flores and this is by all means a good choice. He is tough as nails and a rebounding juggernaut. Hopefully, Flores breaks the current Star shtick where they pick a big man… only to use their acquisition as bench filler (see Norbert Torres and Chris Javier).
10 – TNT KaTropa: Mark Jayven Tallo
Hmmm… what the heck. So in came the first shocker. I am not saying the two-time CESAFI MVP is undeserving of such position but I guess they could have gotten him even in the second round. Nonetheless, they might have seen something with the pick. And oh yeah, just like the Teng pick… the last team Mark Tallo played in the PBA is Seven Up – which is the current TNT squad. So there.
11 – TNT KaTropa: JonJon Gabriel
Did TNT lost their minds when they lost Standhardinger? Not going to hide my feelings here but they can still get this player in later rounds. I mean this guy from Colegio de San Lorenzo will probably battle last year’s sixth round pick Levi Hernandez for a roster spot. Davon Potts and Jett Manuel are still available!!! So is Julian Sargent for crying out loud!!! Did Magnum Membrere delivered his papers to the league office??? Happy Halloween!!!
12 – Barangay Ginebra Kings: Jett Manuel
So because of TNT’s self-destruction, Engineer… I mean GIN-geneer Jett Manuel is sent to a squad knee-deep in talent. I mean… didn’t this guy help Gilas Pilipinas in some ways? Ginebra can pick either Gabriel, Tallo, or even that old guy from the 2016 PBA Draft and still win the draft! Oh man… WTF.
The Second Round
Pre-draft note: So I was OFF in most of my draft order. I apologize. I guessing Star and Phoenix will not last the third round. Hopefully San Miguel and TNT will also stop. Ahihi.
13 – NLEX Road Warriors: John Grospe
I think we have Yeng Guiao picking now instead of the MVP bosses. Much like Don Trollano, I can see the JRU bomber as a hard worker who can help the team in terms of effort. Guiao likes guys that hustle and this guy could be the centrepiece of his second unit.
14 – Star Hotshots: Joseph Gabayni
Wow. I bet the teams are taking all the frontliners left in the draft. Joseph Gabayni is a smart choice… although he left Lyceum just when the college were set to acquire the talents of Coach Topex Robinson and CJ Perez. He just came off an injury and a disappointing NCAA campaign.
15 – Blackwater Elite: Renz Palma
Again… not a fan. I know the UE forward had a good offensive game but I didn’t know teams wanted him in the early rounds.
16 – Star Hotshots: Julian Sargent
I guess this works for Star – especially now that they have another player to vie for the SF presence vacated by Allein Maliksi. I think he got into this bind because he failed to claim a career average of at least seven points per game in the UAAP.
17 – San Miguel Beermen: Louie Vigil
Oh no. As if 0-12 for the UST Growling Tigers isn’t enough. Now I have to pretend Vigil is not suiting up in games because he has an injury. I guess he’s going to relieve SMB from losing Ronald Tubid, but they can just have either Chris Ross or Alex Cabagnot stay a bit more in the court… or have Keith Agovida realize his worth as a “sought-after” guy in the days leading to the draft.
18 – Alaska Aces: Davon Potts
I had Alaska picking Potts… IN THE FIRST ROUND! So why is he here? Did he do something bad at the combine? Perhaps they looked at his San Beda averages and said he’s not worthy of a first round choice? Alaska has been a safe haven for Red Lions for some time now and he’s probably an upgrade to Jaypee Mendoza.
19 – Rain or Shine Elasto Painters: Jom Sollano
I mean… maybe they want Nambatac to feel at home so they selected his former Letran teammate? But like I said, Caloy Garcia once served as Letran coach and having familiar faces to beef up their squad could mean great things in the long run.
20 – Star Hotshots: Gwyne Capacio
What is this – relive the old picks days??? Like Teng and Tallo, this Ateneo Blue Eagle is sent to the team that first featured his dad. Now Capacio might have name recognition but I don’t know if he’ll play heavy minutes in the PBA. He also doesn’t have a pronounced offensive game in the first place.
21 – Phoenix Fuel Masters: Jayson Grimaldo
What is up with these second round picks!?! I guess he is the first MLQU applicant taken this early since… Marlon Legazpi in 2003? I guess Phoenix had what they wanted I wouldn’t be surprised if they selected another shocker with their fourth selection.
22 – TNT KaTropa: Monbert Arong
You know what? I’m digging this pick. Again, this came in early with Thomas Torres still available but with the way TNT picked in the draft… I’m glad they selected the former FEU Tamaraw. I mean having a FEU guy… with the way his former teammates are playing… is a good thing in the PBA as well as in the international arena.
23 – Phoenix Fuel Masters: Wilson Baltazar
Not a bad pick. Wilson Baltazar is doing well for the Lyceum Pirates at the moment and while being the fourth Phoenix pick could be bane than boon, perhaps he could find a way to boost his team stock. And yeah, Topex Robinson is the current Phoenix assistant coach. So there.
24 – GlobalPort Batang Pier: Andreas Cahilig
This is a steal for GlobalPort. I had Cahilig pegged in the first round so GlobalPort got another combo forward for their small ball attack. The problem with this pick is well… it didn’t help GlobalPort’s frontline problems. Perhaps a reason for this could be the lack of usable big men left.
The Third Round
Passes on the board! Right now it’s time to have passes on the board! Thomas Torres is still team-less. Ditto for Gab Dagangon. But look, Kia is up!
25 – Kia Picanto: Chris de Chavez
Kia sucks. Really, really sucks. The guy has stayed out of the spotlight and amongst the Ateneo peeps in the draft for the last five years… well Kia could have done better. So instead of selecting Standhardinger, they took in a guy of
similar gameplay? At least his first name is Christian. Give me a break!
26 – NLEX Road Warriors: Gab Dagangon
Perpetual Help really needs to pimp their selves to the PBA scouts because a couple of drafts ago, supposed first rounder Juneric Baloria had the same experience. Maybe he could thrive under Yeng Guiao’s system? I mean… Grospe versus Dagangon for a rotation spot?
27 – Blackwater Elite: Biboy Enguio
This Fil-Indon nearly resisted a SEA Games spot for Indonesia so he can prepare for the PBA Draft. I guess he’s seen his share of superstar moments but I don’t know if he could win a spot for the Elite.
28 – Phoenix Fuel Masters: Dan Sara
Oh. This Bedan is probably going to return to the D-League. Although, I guess he can obtain a spot if the team decides to let go of the aging Chico Lanete. Still as the fifth rookie taken by Phoenix, he’s in a tough spot.
29 – GlobalPort Batang Pier: Zach Nicholls
I am not that high with his gameplay especially since he’s pegged as a guard that barely connects on the assist stats. But GlobalPort just released a couple of their players to free agency so maybe he’ll have a fighting chance to score a roster spot.
30 – Rain or Shine Elasto Painters: Michael Juico
This guy once helped the San Sebastian Stags to playoff spots. But this was when the team still had Ian Sangalang and the Star center is in his fifth year in the league. The quarterback could spell Billy Ray Robles out of position but I don’t know if he can stick with the guard-souped Elasto Painters.
31 – Meralco Bolts: Jebb Bulawan
I love this pick. This is the first team Gilbert Bulawan played in the PBA and it’s fitting to have another Bulawan carry the surname. Will the Bolts sign him? I guess since he’s their first pick.
32 – Star Hotshots: Thomas Torres
Oh poor Thomas Torres. I think he should have played in the D-League more to improve his draft stock. I thought it was a travesty to call him a late second rounder but I guess perception is different from reality.
33 – TNT KaTropa: Dave Moralde
I guess he’ll help the squad if he gets signed. The only consolation for this UP Fighting Maroon is that Levi Hernandez won a spot last year and he’s a sixth rounder fighting against players picked before him. And yeah, he’ll probably fight with Hernandez for roster spots as well.
34 – San Miguel Beermen: Jerome Ortega
The AMA Titans get a draft pick in Jerome Ortega. I don’t know if he’ll get sign though as right now, the focus would be on Christian Standhardinger.
35 – Barangay Ginebra Kings: Mikey Cabahug
Ha! I guess Ginebra had all the players they need. Sure, he’s the son of legendary scoring machine Elmer Cabahug… but he studied in Ateneo and never played and he’s probably taken to wow the crowd. I bet they’ll pass in the next round.
The Fourth Round
36 – Kia Picanto: Arvie Bringas
Well at least Kia took a known player. Although this known player pretty much went on semi-retirement prior to this draft. Yehey for losing Christian Standhardinger!!!
37 – NLEX Road Warriors: Felix Apreku
Yeah he’s a Fil-Foreigner but I don’t know his upside apart from his 6’4 height. And it’s not like NLEX would sign him anyway.
38 – Blackwater Elite: Kyle Neypes
The former NU Bulldog is at the deep end of the draft and it would take a statement training camp for the Elite to sign him.
39 – Phoenix Fuel Masters: JK Casino
Now I don’t know why but it feels as if teams are raring to complete the draft set. But then here’s the sad part, Casino could be a good pick for a team that didn’t have half a team to compete for spots.
40 – GlobalPort Batang Pier: Gian Abrigo
I think he’s the first Adamson Falcon taken in this draft and with GlobalPort-coach-in-hiatus Franz Pumaren calling the shots for the Falcons, I guess it’s fitting for him to show some love for his ward.
41 – San Miguel Beermen: Joseph Nalos
Oh man, speaking of Adamson love. I pegged this guy as a late second rounder and with San Miguel picking him, this one-time Falcon star could have a pretty unfortunate start to his pro career.
42 – Kia Picanto: Christian Geronimo
Way to rub the Christians, Kia! And wait… he’s a former Mazda sales agent? I HATE YOUR TEAM RIGHT NOW!!?!?!
43 – Blackwater Elite: Jhon Sumido
Wow. 44 over 44. Anyway, again I doubt Sumido playing in the PBA but at least the former UE Red Warrior didn’t end the day team-less.
Well this is unprecedented. For the first time, all draft applicants were picked… IF YOU EXCLUDE JEREMIAH DELA PENA. All of a sudden, it’s like a kindergarten competition in which all kids had to be presented with medals. Not complaining though, as it’s better for them to find homes than leave Robinson’s Place with no team to show.
I’ll be drafting my winners and losers a couple of hours from now.