PBA Draft

Rave reviews push Vanguardia, Blackwater to pick Ganuelas-Rosser at No. 1

Delfin Dioquino
Rave reviews push Vanguardia, Blackwater to pick Ganuelas-Rosser at No. 1

TOP PICK. Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser lands at Blackwater as the No. 1 pick after impressing in the PBA 3x3.

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Blackwater coach Ariel Vanguardia checks in with former PBA veteran Marvin Hayes, a teammate of Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser in PBA 3x3, for his assessment of the Filipino-American prospect

MANILA, Philippines – Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser ticks all the boxes in Blackwater’s checklist for the No. 1 pick in the PBA Draft.

The 6-foot-7 big man is highly skilled for his size as he can put the ball on the floor, shoot from outside, score at will inside, and defend the rim.

But what pushed Bossing head coach Ariel Vanguardia to finally pull the trigger on Ganuelas-Rosser were rave reviews from mutual friends on the local basketball scene.

Vanguardia bared he checked in with former PBA veteran Marvin Hayes, his former player at Jose Rizal University, for his assessment of the Filipino-American prospect.

Hayes and Ganuelas-Rosser are teammates in PBA 3×3, winning four leg titles and the first conference grand finals crown as members of Limitless App.

The two also powered Gilas Men 3×3 to a bronze-medal finish in the Southeast Asian Games on Saturday.

“Marvin said he does not have an attitude,” Vanguardia said in Filipino in the middle of the draft on Sunday, May 15. “He is very coachable, a very good teammate, works hard. Marvin has very good reviews.”

“On the basketball side, he is a very good rim protector, he can run the floor, and he can score inside out. He is a complete player.”

With Ganuelas-Rosser on board, Blackwater looks to turn over a new leaf with a promising draft haul after a forgettable two-year stretch that saw the Bossing lose a PBA record 29 straight games.

Blackwater also nabbed former La Salle standouts Kurt Lojera and Mark Dyke at No. 9 and No. 11, respectively, before it opened the second round with the selection of former Letran forward Ato Ular at No. 13.

“Ular won a championship with Letran, so he is a reliable role player. When it came to Lojera, we were very surprised that he fell to No. 9 so we picked the best available talent.”

Meanwhile, Vanguardia is already familiar with Dyke, having coached him in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League when they were still part of the Manila Stars.

“He has been practicing with us and he has been practicing well.”

Vanguardia, though, admitted he would have preferred if the Bossing managed to draft former Japan B. League player Javi Gomez de Liaño, whom Barangay Ginebra picked earlier at No. 8.

“It would have been near-perfect if we landed Gomez de Liaño because we eyed him at No. 9. We were one pick away. Ginebra is lucky with Javi Gomez de Liaño,” Vanguardia said.

“But Lojera is no pushover. He is a scorer and he played well for La Salle.”

The four rookies will get to prove their worth for Blackwater when the next PBA season kicks off on June 5.

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.