PBA Draft Preview: Backcourt tandems
MANILA, Philippines - Days before the annual PBA Rookie Draft, Rappler talked to some hopefuls. We discuss their experiences and what they could bring to the Philippine Basketball Association.
In this edition, Rappler talks to University of Santo Tomas’ backcourt pair Jeric Fortuna and Jeric Teng, and Far Eastern University’s one-two punch RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo about their thoughts on the coming draft. (READ: Ginebra gets 1st overall pick in 2013 PBA Draft)
New chapters for Fortuna and Teng
Former UST Growling Tiger Jeric Fortuna is arguably the finest pure point guard among the draftees. He feels more excited than nervous about the draft, and he said it marks a new chapter in his basketball career.
Fortuna added that having played in PBA D-League and the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) boosted his confidence. His leadership skills—something he learned from UST head coach Pido Jarencio—is something he said he will showcase if he gets selected.
“Very big help ‘yung ABL. ‘Yung teammates ko dun former PBA players so I gained confidence,” he said. “I think I can lead the team. I learned that from UST. Coach Pido (Jarencio) really thought me about composure.”
His backcourt partner Jeric Teng, who decided at the last minute to join the draft, hopes to be part of the PBA like his father Alvin. He believes it would be a competitive cast and he wishes to be part of the first round.
“I’m just hopeful na sana first round. All the players here are really good so it’s really tight,” said the King Tiger.
When it comes to the adjustments he is going to make, he said he has to add more muscle. “I need to spend more hours in the gym. (But) what I can bring is my love for the game. I help them to really win.”
Will Garcia and Romeo play together?
Meanwhile, teammates RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo have made the draft pool even more exciting. Garcia was the first one to join, while Romeo submitted just before the deadline to get included in the 85-man pool.
Reigning UAAP MVP Romeo is preparing for the pressures of the PBA in a move that surprised UAAP fans. (READ: Terrence Romeo joins PBA Draft)
“Nagpre-prepare ako…Tingin ko mahirap, pero pipilitin ko,” said Romeo.
(I am preparing. I think it will be hard, but will do my best.)
Garcia, who copped the UAAP MVP award 3 years ago when Romeo bagged the Rookie of the Year plum, thinks this is the perfect time to join the draft, and he’s bringing rich experiences with Gilas Pilipinas and former PBA D-League champs NLEX Road Warriors.
“Di naman ako kinakabahan. Pinaghandaan ko, nagpakundisyon ako. Di ko ine-expect na makuha sa first round. Basta makuha,” Garcia shared. (I'm not nervous. I made sure I'm ready, in good condition. I don't expect to get drafted in the first round. The important thing for me is to get drafted.)
There's a possibility the two could end up in one PBA team. Mock drafts have them among the middle picks of the first round. Barako Bull still owns the 4th, 5th picks in the first round, while it traded its 6th pick to acquire another former Tamaraw guard, Denok Miranda.
However, if the trade rumor on Spin.ph holds true that Energy Cola is dealing its 4th and 5th picks, Romeo and Garcia may very well find themselves matching up against each other. - Rappler.com