I had typos on the left and unfinished sentences on the right…
And that’s how I published my 2017 PBA Draft review.
So with this in mind, let’s talk about the winners and the losers of the 2017 PBA Draft.
Anyway, apart from typos, unfinished sentences, and wrong grammars, let me add “fake news” on the list. I had bad internet connection and depended on mobile data. When the PBA announced that for the first time, all applicants were taken and Blackwater’s Jhon Rey Sumido became the last pick of the draft, I assumed Jeremiah dela Pena was taken by the NLEX Road Warriors since Kia, NLEX, and Blackwater had picks in the fourth round.
Lo and behold though, Dela Pena wasn’t picked.
We start off with the team that went home with a haul in the 2017 PBA Draft. Did anyone expected Alaska to end up with Jeron Teng in the five spot? And who would ever thought Davon Potts will be a late second rounder? All of a sudden, Alaska replenished the loss of Cyrus Baguio and RJ Jazul. Teng is going to be part of the starting core and Potts could lead the second unit. Hopefully their winning traditions would jumpstart Alaska’s waning winning culture.
Barangay Ginebra Kings
Team Never Say Die can let this event pass empty-handed. After all, their mission next season is to further develop Greg Slaughter, Scottie Thompson, Aljon Mariano, and Kevin Ferrer.
However, TNT gave Ginebra a freebie in Jett Manuel. Now dubbed as the Gin-gineer, the former UP Fighting Maroon rose to ranks after an eventful showing in the 2017 FIBA Champions Cup. With the Kings expecting a possible Jayjay Helterbrand announcement, the entry of Manuel to the fold could give the team a key support after LA Tenorio, Thompson, and Sol Mercado.
As for Mikey Cabahug? I doubt if he’ll be signed come the opening festivities.
After a breakout Governors’ Cup, Blackwater is bent to elevate their squad. Now Raymar Jose is a good choice at number three even if Jeron Teng is still on board. Perhaps they have something palatable in store for Chris Ellis the same way they had when Allein Maliksi first got on board.
The same can’t be said with Emil Renz Palma. I get that the UE Red Warrior can be an unstoppable force but we haven’t really heard a lot from him. Biboy Enguio maybe a star in Indonesia but like Palma, this UE grad is a project at best. Blackwater had Kyle Neypes in the fourth and JR Sumido as the last pick which makes you wonder… what is up with Blackwater and U-Belt colleges?
GlobalPort Batang Pier
GlobalPort had to swap orders with Alaska. They could have gotten Jeron Teng – one of Franz Pumaren’s prized finds. And yet, I’ll give them an “A”.
They took Robbie Herndon and traded him to Star for their first three picks. Three for one! WHO CAN LOSE WITH THOSE GIFTS!?! All of a sudden, GlobalPort addressed their needs. They may not have landed a Teng but they got two big men in Lervin Flores and Joseph Gabayni plus a backcourt support in Julian Sargent. They also have Andreas Cahilig who’ll probably crack the lineup and Zach Nicholls will probably have a reserve role. Gian Abrigo? Oh man, I don’t the Batang Pier playing six rookies.
I hate this team. I hate how unconventional their gameplay will be and I hate how people are puzzled with how that “system” would work. I will say this, for a team that traded a center… they actually picked a slew of big men.
The problem with these picks though is that these guys are pretty much outdated. I mean Chris de Chavez and Nico Salva were teammates in Ateneo nearly a decade ago while Arvie Bringas was a freshman for the DLSU Green Archers in Season 72 – a year after said trivia about De Chavez and Salva.
And don’t get me started with Christian Geronimo Lucky for him, this is the same team that drafted a boxer to become their (absentee) head coach and what zany adventures would they have with the former Mazda agent that could play for them in the near future.
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The 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup finalists had only one pick in the draft and they used it to acquire Lyceum’s Jebb Bulawan. Now he may crack the roster… but a game changer he is not. So yeah, Allen Durham could return next season and hopefully he’s stronger enough to lift the Bolts to victory.
And yeah, I’ve been pimping Thomas Torres a lot in this blog but Meralco has already Baser Amer, Anjo Caram, Simon Atkins, and Mike Tolomia.
NLEX Road Warriors
Maybe I am wrong but perhaps the plays Juami Tiongson had during his rise to prominence were initially made for Kiefer Ravena. True or false, if Yeng Guiao was able to make a star out of Tiongson, then the sky is the limit for this King Ateneo Blue Eagle. Finally, NLEX gets the star player that could elevate their game to championship heights.
And with this in mind, Guiao selected John Grospe as the top pick of the second round and while I thought he was picked too early, perhaps the JRU Bomber did something cool to warrant the fiery coach’s attention. Finally, they were able to equip their selves with Gab Dagangon in the third and Felix Apreku in the fourth. I guess NLEX could have one of these guys fight for the reserve spots.
Phoenix Fuel Masters
The Fuel Masters (sucky moniker) had a goldmine of a haul in the 2017 PBA Draft. The problem was though… it could have been better. Jason Perkins is a great choice for teams in need of frontliners. Ditto for Sidney Onwubere.
With that said, why even give Alaska the chance to rebuild? If they were that bent of taking Onwubere in the late first round, then they can go nuts like what GlobalPort did and hostage the pick to reap bigger rewards. Phoenix is the main beneficiary of Alaska’s guard loss and we saw how Alaska struggled because of it.
They also had two draft picks in the second round in which they used to obtain the services of Jayson Grimaldo and Wilson Baltazar. They also took Dan Sara in the third round with JK Casino finishing their selections in the fourth round.
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters
I guess they are bound to get the Letran players with Caloy Garcia at helm. But while Rey Nambatac is a good pick at seventh, I am not so sure with Jom Sollano at 19. And as for Michael Juico, he is a 28-year-old guard who initially applied for the 2014 PBA Draft. If they wanted a playmaker, Thomas Torres is still available and he just turned 23 two days ago.
San Miguel Beermen
Oh don’t blame San Miguel for yearning more. If you need a chart on who to blame, Kia takes top rung followed by Chito Narvasa (but what can Narvasa do if Kia is that adamant in trading away their top pick rights). For hitting paydirt by sending away their reserves, the Beermen gets an automatic “A”. But then they also were able to score Louie Vigil. The UST Growling Tiger could be a decent support for the other teams but I guess San Miguel would rather get his services than Vigil hurting them sometime in the season. AMA’s Jerome Ortega and Adamson’s Joseph Nalos could be serviceable players but I doubt if they could crack this powerhouse roster.
I like how Star tried to move heavens just to claim the rights to Robbie Herndon. As mentioned, they need a player that can fulfil the duties vacated by James Yap and Allein Maliksi… but it feels like they had a player of their scoring calibre with the penchant to cash in on boards like the Powerade version of Marcio Lassiter. Herndon caught the scouts’ attention by doing well in the draft combine. While I thought they selected Gwyne Capacio a bit early, I thought they lucked out in Thomas Torres.
Finally, I thought TNT had enough of the draft process. Chito Narvasa just outed Magnum Membrere as the person responsible of bringing Christian Standhardinger’s papers to the league office. Personally, it’s no different to when Kelly Williams was picked by Sta. Lucia even if Chot Reyes organized his papers to play for the national squad as well as when Ginebra got the services of Greg Slaughter.
However, what the hell were they thinking use the first round to extract Mark Tallo and Jonjon Gabriel from the pool? Granted, they are MVPs in their own leagues but there are too many known names left in the draft. It’s like when Yeng Guiao chose Nonoy Baclao over Rabeh Al-Hussaini. Yes, this is a form of discipline for the Ateneo tower but using another player that will probably be labelled as a top pick bust in the league annals is in some ways ruthless. Also, thanks to their selection, they sent Jett Manuel to depth chart hell in Ginebra. Why allow the Kings to have a baller with the calibre of Manuel?!?
But perhaps Tallo and Gabriel would make me eat my words. Tallo made an intelligent choice where he went from seldom used guard in DLSU to an offensive force in Cebu while Gabriel at 6’6 could be a project in the works. Right now though, I cast these acquisitions in the “iffy” zone.
Monbert Arong is a good pick in the second round though although I doubt if Dave Moralde would see action for the Tropa.
So this is my draft grades. Did you agree with my list? Make sure to knock on the comments section and visit the site for more Pinoy basketball content.