The Draft Class Of 2010
The Score by Patricia Bermudez-Hizon
Special to Yahoo! Southeast Asia
The recently concluded PBA Rookie draft was all about dreams coming true, triumph and despair. For 19 of the players that got selected, this is just the beginning. For the other 41, this isn’t necessarily the end.
Top overall pick Noy Baclao is still in disbelief that he had been blessed with such an opportunity. Coach Yeng Guiao of the Air21 Express said that they really see a lot of promise in Baclao and is looking forward to whipping the team to a championship contender. They also have 2nd overall pick, former UAAP MVP Rabeh Al-Husseini and Smart Gilas teammate Rey Guevara in their old.
Talk and Text initiated the first trade move on the floor, asking Alaska to give up sweet shooting Larry Fonacier which they did to get the rights to pick 4th overall. The Aces used it to get the high leaping Elmer Espiritu. At 5th, Fil-am shooter Josh Vanlandigham was selected by Rain or Shine.
Air 21 picked Fil-Canadian Sean Anthony from McGill University in Montreal at 6th. He had his grandparents, cousins, and uncle Dodo Dee who is the husband of Presidential sister Viel Aquino-Dee. Before the day ended, he had already been traded to the Powerade Tigers (formerly Coca Cola Tigers) for the team’s 1st round draft pick in 2012. In the same agreement, Air21 also traded Ren Ren Ritualo to the Tigers for the 2nd round draft pick in 2012.
When John Wilson was called up to be Ginebra’s pick at 7th overall, Siot Tanquincen also went up onstage as Coach Jong Uichico’s new assistant. Despite being a former NCAA MVP, many still question why Ginebra drafted yet another guard. But it has been said before that Ginebra is looking to prepare for the team’s future with majority of their players above 30 years of age already. With an equally impressive showing in the collegiate and amateur ranks, Ginebra also selected Jimbo Aquino at 8th overall.
Predicted to go late in the 2nd round, Parri Llagas proved many wrong by being 9th overall, selected by the B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados. “I’m very surprise they chose me, but Coach Gallent knows me well. I’m a workhorse”, shared Llagas. Coach George Gallent was accompanied his new assistant coaches Richard del Rosario formerly of the Elastopainters, and Art dela Cruz, who used to be with San Miguel.
To cap off the first round, the Aces decided to trade the option to the new Meralco Bolts franchise for the young and promising Bon Bon Custodio who was picked 8th overall just 2 years ago by the Beermen and was traded to the Sta. Lucia Realtors last season. The Bolts’ young coach Ryan Gregorio went with Fil-Am Sean Weinstein who played as a pro in the Israel Premier League’s Maccabi Netanya team for two years. Weinstein impressed in the rookie camp with his steadiness, maturity and intensity.
11 picks were scheduled in the 2nd round with the 11th overall given to Meralco as a concession approved by the PBA Board. The Bolts stayed on stage waiting for Commissiner Chito Salud to announce that they selected Bam Gamalinda of San Beda.
People scratched their heads when Ginebra got another guard with their 2nd pick in the 2nd round. Though Rob Labagala has been known to play hard which got him the opportunity to play in the Asian Basketball League and could be valuable when they play 5 guards.
Coach Gallent picked Val Acuna who is also an ABL veteran, at lucky 13th overall. Another former Atenean who got drafted in the 2nd round, Ford Arao breathed a sigh of relief when he was called. Fortunately for him, the Meralco Bolts are relying on the draft to build their lineup.
Former Gilas player RJ Jazul fell deep in the draft after many thought he’d go in the first round. But to get him, the Rain or Shine Elastopainters had to trade a future draft pick to the Alaska Aces. Another Philippine Patriots veteran and former UST Growling Tiger Khasim Mirza went to the Bolts who selected 16th.
The only pick that the Barako Coffee Masters had was 17th overall which they got from the Ogie Menor trade. How funny that another former Red Lion would benefit from this. They went with Borgy Hermida.
Air21 had initially decided to pass on their 18th, but before it could be announced, Governor Ramos rushed to the official’s table to clarify that they had just traded the right to Powerade who selected Jai Reyes from ADMU. It was actually funny that Powerade then passed on the right to pick 19th but maybe this was part of the whole Ritualo-Anthony deal with the Express. Air 21 didn’t even bother to exercise their right to pick 10th in the 2nd round.
With only one chance remaining, the batch of applicants just prayed hard that their name would be called. For Marvin Hayes, prayers were indeed answered. Coach Tim saw that Hayes is definitely a hardworker and was pleased with how the day turned out for them. Next on their to do list is Disneyland.
The PBA will start season 36 on October 3, complete with teams parading with muses, dance numbers, and a stellar opening game between Meralco and Ginebra.
Reposted From Patricia Bermudez-Hizon Of Yahoo! Southeast Asia