Looking at the 2013 PBA Draft
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A total of 44 rookies were drafted in what is touted as the one of the deepest draft classes in PBA history. From Greg Slaughter all the way to Mark Bringas, these hopefuls fulfilled another step toward their PBA careers.
Rappler looks at which team made the best moves in the annual PBA event.
Picks: Eric Camson, Joshua Webb, Angelo Ingco, Randolph Chua
Positive: Getting Eric Camson, the 16th pick, is a smart move by the Express. Camson will fill a huge void in the frontline and battle the rest of PBA’s big men.
Negatitve: The rest of Air21’s rookies will have to find their niche, especially with the backcourt as it is a bit overloaded.
For a team that had no first round picks, Air21 made an excellent choice of selecting Camson in the second round. They had a fair run this year.
Picks: Ryan Buenafe, Ping Exciminiano, Raymund Ilagan
Positive: Most people were surprised about the Aces’ decision to pick Ryan Buenafe over players like Jeric Teng and Nico Salva for the 8th overall pick. Coach Luigi Trillo says it’s a gamble he is willing to make, and Buenafe is a unique fit for any roster. He has great basketball IQ and he is expected to gel quickly with the Aces’ system. Ping Exciminiano is another good addition. He will be a solid backcourt defender who can shoot.
Negative: Aces could have used first round pick for a small forward who will eventually replace Tony Dela Cruz. Nico Salva and Alex Nuyles were among the options, but they got Buenafe. He’ll likely play the three spot where he will be pitted against Gabe Norwood, Larry Fonacier, and Chris Lutz, among others. He would have to adjust to the PBA style to keep up with the league’s best wing men.
Alaska’s core hasn’t changed and the arrival of the three rookies will just give them more depth. They will come in as one of the teams to beat in the Philippine Cup.
BARAKO BULL ENERGY COLA
Picks: Jeric Fortuna, Carlo Lastimosa, Darwin Cordero, Jett Vidal, Mike Silungan
Draft day acquisitions: Rico Maierhofer, Willie Wilson, Magi Sison, Mark Isip, Willie Miller
Positive: Instead of picking rookies in the first round, Barako Bull went for several trades that landed them a younger set of big men. Maierhofer, Wilson, Sison, and Isip have an average age of 29, younger than that of Danny Seigle, Mick Pennisi, and Dorian Pena’s 37. Getting big men with fresher legs may be quite a good move, but...
Negative: Their backcourt is too stacked. Mark Macapagal, Ronjay Buenafe, and Willie Miller patrol the shooting guard spot while Shawn Weinstein, Rob Labagala, Jonas Villanueva, and Celino Cruz are their point guards. The Energy Cola will have some problems shuffling their roster and coming up with which guys to activate come the PBA season.
The Energy Cola wasted a golden opportunity to select three first round picks and boost the team’s future. They were very fortunate to get Jeric Fortuna, Carlo Lastimosa and Jett Vidal, but the bottomline is they could have gotten a better package.
BRGY. GINEBRA SAN MIGUEL
Picks: Greg Slaughter, James Forrester, John Usita, Jens Knuttel, Alvin Padilla
Positive: Greg Slaughter gives the team a lot of ceiling. He’ll join Japeth Aguilar and Jay-R Reyes in a a towering frontline for BGSM. Forrester can play the two or three positions. Chris Elis could concentrate on the shooting guard spot while Mac Baracael and Dylan Ababou man the small forward position. Coach Ato Agustin will have a plethora of options for Ginebra this coming season.
Negative: LA Tenorio, Josh Urbiztondo, and new addition Emman Monfort will be the main facilitators for Ginebra, so Jens Knuttel should work hard for minutes. With Ginebra already loaded in the wings, Alvin Padilla won’t be a regular part of the rotation. Fil-Hawaiian big man John Usita, picked in the third round, was already waived by the crowd favorites.
Ginebra definitely won. Landing Greg Slaughter sealed the deal, but they chose to trade Rico Maierhofer and Willie Wilson to get James Forrester as the 4th overall pick, adding another great weapon to their arsenal.
GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER
Picks: Terrence Romeo, RR Garcia, Nico Salva, Isaac Holstein, Jopher Custodio, LA Revilla
Draft day acquisitions: Enrico Villanueva
Positive: The Batang Pier landed some of the best talents in the draft pool, making them equipped not just for the upcoming season but also for the next years. UAAP MVPs RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo bring their acts to the PBA, joining Sol Mercado. Nico Salva has been a five-time champion and he hopes that experience will show in the big games.
Negative: PBA teams’ frontcourts are getting more competitive. Ginebra added Slaughter while June Mar Fajardo is coming off a monster conference for Petron. GlobalPort’s only big man in the draft was Isaac Holstein but he has already been traded to SanMig Coffe for another big man, Justin Chua.
Chemistry in the backcourt might be an issue. Garcia would be point guard, but coaches have to be clear what roles Mercado and Romeo should play.
GlobalPort team owner Mikee Romero wants to rebuild, and this is the best way. The upcoming season is a good test and an experiment for the Batang Pier.
Picks: Anjo Caram, Mike Parala, Mark Lopez, Mark Bringas, Ron Guevarra
Positive: Most of Meralco’s recruits are impact players. They won’t get much of playing time for now, but since the Bolts have a lot of veterans, these players might break a sweat sooner than later. Mark Bringas is probably the best acquisition, since he’ll replace Don Allado and Reynel Hugnatan soon.
Negative: The new guys will spend most of their time on the bench. The Bolts have 2-3 good players per position as of now, so the best thing the rookies can do is to learn from the veterans.
It was a relatively silent night for the Bolts. They did not make a lot of movement and they were not able to get lottery picks this year.
PETRON BLAZE BOOSTERS
Picks: Sam Marata, Nate Matute
Draft day acquisitions: Yousef Taha
Positive: Yousef Taha is a promising big man but he has been dealt several times just in his first year as a pro. Hopefully, he stays longer with Petron as June Mar Fajardo’s reliever. With him in the fold, Doug Kramer and Arwind Santos can concentrate on the power forward position, giving Petron a formidable frontcourt. Sam Marata adds more firepower to a team which already has Gilas 1.0 players Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz, and the energetic Ronald Tubid.
Negative: The only concern is how the Boosters would work Nate Matute into the rotation. The Boosters have an abundance of guards in Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, Chico Lanete, and Paolo Hubalde. Other than that, Petron did a run in this year’s draft.
The Boosters were not quite busy on draft day; but for a team who did not have picks in the first two rounds, Petron did a good job of getting some role players who add depth to a team already considered a powerhouse.
RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS
Picks: Raymund Almazan, Alex Nuyles, Jeric Teng, Gayford Rodriguez, Ervic Vijandre
Positive: Raymund Almazan adds height to the Rain or Shine frontline, allowing Beau Belga to slide to the 4 spot. He will also be a terrific defender. Alex Nuyles has been tapped to add match-up problems at the wings, while Jeric Teng adds more firepower to the group. These are great choices for Coach Yeng Guiao.
Negaitive: Having Teng and Nuyles would mean a pretty loaded backcourt for Rain or Shine. Handling the minutes would be up to Guiao, considering guys like Jireh Ibanes, Ryan Arana, Jeff Chan, Chris Tiu, and Paul Lee are all part of the Rain or Shine line-up.
This year gives the Elasto Painters an assurance their future would be bright. They added more scorers and their frontline looks solid. While Guiao has some surplus in the backcourt, he says it would be a “good problem.”
SAN MIG COFFEE MIXERS
Picks: Ian Sangalang, Justin Chua, Justin Melton, JR Cawaling
Positive: The reigning Governors Cup champions couldn’t ask for more in this draft. Ian Sangalang is hardworking big men with great touch from the outside. With his offensive game, Marc Pingris and Rafi Reavis won’t have trouble with offense and can just concentrate on defense. 6'5"Justin Chua was traded for 6'9" Isaac Holstein. The Mixers' big men should also give recently acquired Isaac Holstein ample time to develop his game.
While Allein Maliksi is still out, JR Cawaling can provide quality minutes. Lastly, Justin Melton gives SMC another point guard, letting Alex Mallari slide to the off guard spot.
Negative: The rookies must adjust quickly to Coach Tim Cone’s triangle system. It’s just two weeks away from the Philippine Cup and San Mig Coffee can be a legitimate contender if the newcomers can fit immediately.
The Mixers boosted their roster. They will only get better when the PBA season kicks off.
TALK N’ TEXT TROPANG TEXTERS
Picks: JP Erram, Chris Sumalinog, Robby Celiz, Eliud Poligrates, John Villarias
Positive: Coach Norman Black stuck to his Ateneo boys, and landed JP Erram and Chris Sumalinog from the draft. Adjustment should be a breeze as they join more Blue Eagles in the TNT roster. The Texters need a big man, and Erram will get the most minutes out of the five rookies. He will do a lot of work for the crew. The rest will have to be role players for now, but Black will find a way to get them into the rotation.
Negative: Talk n’ Text did not get a superb batch of new players this year, which is understandable because they’re the defending Philippine Cup champions for three years. They were not able to make the most out of this talented batch, but they will still bring along a formidable core which includes Gilas Pilipinas standouts Jayson Castro, Jimmy Alapag, Larry Fonacier, and Ranidel De Ocampo.
TNT doesn’t usually make a lot of noise in the PBA Draft especially in the last few seasons, and looks like they’ll be sticking again to what they already have. - Rappler.com
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