PBA Draft Scorecard

Posted: August 21, 2012 in Basketball
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After the dust has settled, there were a total of 39 aspiring rookies out of 57 hopefuls picked by 10 teams yesterday at the PBA Draft 2012. Not bad. That’s about 70% batting average for this batch. Though it seems like a really long shot for those who were picked late in the succeeding rounds, it’s better than not hearing your name called at all right. And for those who were worthy and lucky, this doesn’t end here. I know you know that. I am not the one to preach you about that.

For the proceeding itself, I have ranked the teams based from how they did during the draft. Did they draft the right player for the right position they needed? Did they make the right choice in general? Did anyone of them lack aggressiveness during the process? Let’s take a look.

A – Excellent     B – Above Average     C – Average     D – Poor     E – Never Mind

Alaska Aces – based from their showings last season, what they really needed is getting familiar with the new system. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they made a trade during the draft to snatch a reliable veteran, say a Wynne Arboleda for added toughness and a more reliable back up for the oft injured LA Tenorio. But yeah, that’s a different story. How did they do yesterday? They got my man Calvin Abueva, Raphy Reyes, and Karl Dehesa. The Beast would surely help, most probably will earn a starting spot. For the other two? I’m not really sure. This team is 2-guard heavy already – Baguio, Gelig, Custodio, Cablay, Jazul, and even Tony Dela Cruz. Just basing it mainly from making the right choice on that precious #2 overall pick, I’ ll give the Aces a B+ Rating.

Air 21 Express – they were bottom dwellers as well during last season so many were kind of waiting for a move or two by the Express. Nothing happened. With no pick on the first round, they had to get the best talent left available. And who did they get? The former Mapua Cardinal Yousef Taha. A burly 6’6″ defensive-minded center who would almost surely get some minutes in Franz Pumaren’s system. They also got Simon Atkins, a former Archer, on the later rounds. I’d say they could have done better. No disrespect to Mr.Taha, but I think Dave Marcelo could have been a better choice here. But what do I know right? With that, I’d give them a C+ Rating.

Barako Bull Cola Energy – wow. would you believe, they drafted more than 10% of the total number of aspirants from this year’s draft? That’s a total of 7 aspiring rookies namely Aldrech Ramos (later traded for Sean Anthony), Dave Marcelo, Lester Alvarez, Emman Monfort, Woody Co, Ryan Boada, and Kokoy Hermosisima. It felt like they were there until the last round, picking at least 2 rookies on each. The trade for Anthony and the drafting of Dave Marcelo (plus 5 more to give them options) gets them a B+ Rating.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings – the fan favorite drafted a total of 6 rookies. Having to pick 6th on the first round, they knew they won’t leave this Robinson’s Place empty handed. There were several choices and this class is almost up to second round talent heavy. The choice of Chris Ellis is not bad although they are already loaded in the forward position.He’ll be an easy crowd favorite and just like what I said on my previous post, he must be the most pro ready for his batch. Other picks were Keith Jensen, Jerick Canada, Paul Zamar, JR Buensuceso, and Elliot Tan. Anytime you don’t pass up on an awesome talent like Ellis, that should always give you an A Rating.

Global Port Batang Pier – Vic Manuel, Jason Deutchman, AJ Mandani, Mark Acosta, Jan Colina, and VJ Serios. Their prized rookie, Vic Manuel, is no spring chicken and will be playing the same spot as the dynamic Gary David but I kind of understand why they had to “gamble” on  him on this pick. They just followed the Draft’s golden rule. I think they did fairly well on drafting Mr. Deutchman as the last pick of the first round. What I didn’t like is them trading away a dependable contributor in Sean Anthony just to get these picks. It would be justifiable if they got a Chris Ellis or a Cliff Hodge in exchange of their big man. With that, I’m giving the “new” kid on the block a C Rating.

Meralco Bolts – it could have gone bad for them had they made a different choice other than Cliff Hodge. He is what and who they need to bolster up their roster even further. A starting five of Sol Mercado, Mac Cardona, Cliff Hodge, Jason Ballesteros, and Asi Taulava is as formidable as any playoff caliber team in the PBA. You can even count on the additional draftees Kelly Nabong and Eric Saguitan as a reliable 7th or 8th man off the bench. Janus Lozada might even get lucky and get signed before the start of the new season. They deserve an A Rating for this year’s draft.

Petron Blaze Boosters – June Mar Fajardo is a tested big man. He had several stints in the collegiate ranks as well as in the international leagues. Being a favorite by the big bosses within the organization didn’t hurt as well. But how is he as a player? Will he fit well in the Boosters’ system? How’s his ability to stay healthy? I guess we’ll have our answers in the next few months. And how about Alex Mallari? Well, same goes with this pick, we’ll get our answers soon. The only other rookie they drafted this year is Mark Sarangay. I’ll give them a A- Rating for delving into the unknown.

Rain or Shine Elasto Painters – being the recent champions, what else do you need to stay on the same level? Draft a tested rookie, someone who has been part of a winning tradition, who knows how to contribute and adjust to any given situation. They did exactly that, opting to go for the battle tested Chris Tiu. You can’t go wrong with that pick especially that your rookie of the year last year is going to be out for at least 3 more months. That was an easy pick for coach Yeng Guiao. I can’t exactly say the same for Bacon Austria and Jewel Palomique but I guess they just followed their game plan: draft a winner. I am giving them an A Rating for this draft.

San Mig Coffee (formerly known as B-Meg Llamados) – I thought what they needed are a possible insurance for the Small Forward spot (while JC Intal is still recuperating) and a Forward/Center who can bang in the inside and get those rebounds (a la Marc Pingris). Instead they got another lanky big man a la Yancy De Ocampo in Aldrech Ramos. If he can slide into the SF spot then that was a steal for the Coffeemakers but that’s exactly my point – if and when. And to shore up the Luc Longley’s double for Tim’s triangle offense, they drafted Jewel Ponferrada and Gian Chiu. That gives them a B Rating.

Talk n’ Text Tropang Texters – their team is pretty intact, if and when they are healthy, except for the center position. Having to pick very late in the next rounds didn’t seem to have been a problem for the Tropa. They got Jaypee Velencion and Jason Escueta as their only draft picks for this year. Escueta has a chance since he is familiar with Coach Norman Black’s system but a slim chance I would say at that. I think they could have done better by picking at least one of those centers available when it was their turn, or perhaps made a couple of  moves to get a Taha or a Marcelo. But they didn’t and I’ll have to give them a C Rating for staying put.

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