THE PBA DRAFT’S BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS (2001 – 10)


This is not a bust list. Some players included in this list aren’t busts because they had their shares of triumph – whether team or individual. Unfortunately, there was a reason why these guys are drafted higher than other players.

Management thought they were good finds. Management thought they are marquee players. Management thought they will be the future of the franchise.

But then again… some things were never meant to be.


Again, disappointing is different from total bust, that’s why people shouldn’t get pissed on how high or low their favourites place here. This wasn’t created to beat down on your bets… I just made this because they still have the opportunity to check out of this list.

Although some of the players mentioned are in their 30’s.


Game starts now.


THE RULES:

FIRST RULE – The players listed must be first round draft picks from the 2001 to 2006 period. I will give Sam Eman his chance to veer away from this list and I don’t want to put the busts of the 2000 Draft because they’ll likely eat all of the spots.

Besides… they aren’t PBL or MBA marquee players to begin with. They are just a couple of guys that were picked higher because most of the guys are playing in the MBA.

Wait…

Change that.

The 2000 batch will be included in the list because of the previous statements mentioned.

SECOND RULE – People should think that these guys are marquee stars. Marc Victoria was the second pick overall in the 2000 draft but you won’t see his name on the list because no one really thought he’ll be a successful pro baller.

THIRD RULE – The higher their rank, the higher they’ll place in this list. Getting picked tenth, eleventh, or twelfth means the coaches and the management thought that they aren’t big time players.


CONSIDERED:

11) DENVER LOPEZ (The sixth overall pick of the 2004 Draft by Red Bull)
12) BILLY MAMARIL (The sixth overall pick of the 2004 Draft by Purefoods)
13) OMANZIE RODRIGUEZ (The third overall pick of the 2002 Draft by Sta. Lucia)
14) DINO ALDAGUER (The third overall pick of the 2000 Draft by Purefoods)
15) GILBERT DEMAPE (The fourth overall pick of the 2001 Draft by Mobiline)
16) MARK ISIP (The sixth overall pick of the 2006 Draft by Sta. Lucia)
17) GABBY ESPINAS (The fifth overall pick of the 2005 Draft by San Miguel)
18) MIGS NOBLE (The sixth overall pick of the 2002 Draft by Alaska)
19) FRANCIS ADRIANO (The sixth overall pick of the 2001 Draft by Sta. Lucia)
20) MIKE HOLPER (The seventh overall pick of the 2005 Draft by Ginebra)


Anyway, game starts now!


10 BRANDON CABLAY – Another quality player from the 2003 Draft, this Vanguard star was said to be the second coming of Mark Caguioa. He has the leaping ability that The Spark lacks (although Caguioa had better range) and he looked like a star from the get-go. He was selected as the fifth pick of the 2003 Draft by Alaska… which shockingly gave up Kenneth Duremdes… which made fans think that Cablay must really be THAT special! While he proved to be a playmaker than a scorer, one thing to frown upon in his entry was Alaska’s eventual championship drought. Cablay’s game slowly declined when he was traded to San Miguel for Nic Belasco in 2006. He was then traded to Purefoods were injuries and the abundance of talent made his appearances sporadic. I believe if Cablay didn’t leave Alaska, he would have been a great combo for Willie Miller. While Cablay did play with Miller in his second stint as an Ace, “Sky High Cablay” wasn’t as good like he was then.


9 JONDAN SALVADOR – Like Billy Mamaril and Peter June Simon, this former UST Team B player and St. Benilde Blazer was part of the Davao Eagles’ third MBA season. After becoming a PBL star following his stint with the Montana Jewels, Salvador turned pro as the fourth selection of the Purefoods Chunkee Giants in the 2005 Draft. With his stellar play that season, insiders called him the reincarnation of Alvin Patrimonio’s post up version (since he ended his career as a three-point shooting small forward) a distinction once said to former UST star Richard Yee. Since then Purefoods, now BMEG had seen their share of bigger and better big men that slowly took over Jondan’s position. He now plays in limited minutes via erratic appearances and hopefully he’ll do a Richard Yee and move away from Purefoods and into a team that would give him playing time. The fact that he is still in his prime makes him a good player to sign.


8 CHRISTIAN CALAGUIO – The guy is a winner in every league he plays for. He won a NCAA title with Letran, a PBL plum with Chowking, a MBA crown via the San Juan Knights, and obviously his stint with the San Miguel Beermen should merit a couple of championships. However, it’s the individual accolades that missed him. Debuting in the MBA during the league’s second season, “Hot Hands” was a revered scorer and a feared shooter. He looks as if he is the younger version of Jojo Lastimosa. When San Juan folded he jumped ship and was picked fourth in the 2002 PBA Draft by Shell. For a couple of seasons, he was the Turbo Chargers’ main man. However when Shell took a leave from the PBA, he ended up playing for San Miguel. At first he was an option off the bench but eventually he faded out of spotlight. He became a shadow of his old self and he is an example of how players choose economic stability over a Hall of Fame career.


7 EDDIE LAURE – He is a high-flyer, an inside-outside combo, a good defender and has the ability to create his own shot. Laure was the face of the Batangas Blades during its MBA stint. He eventually won a MVP trophy when LBC-Batangas won the national crown. In the 2003 Draft, he was picked third by Shell. He had great numbers up until his injury. This injury proved to be costly for his career. He was sent to Purefoods when he got injured and he spent watching games behind the team’s bench. He was then shipped to Alaska where he played backup. Sure, he had career rejuvenation following his current stint with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, but the promise seen in Laure’s career has obviously faded. Had he been the go-to-guy which he was capable of becoming, his future may have told a different story.


6 JOHN ARIGO – Arigo planed with so much hype. A product of the University of North Florida, he told the media that he played a lot like Reggie Miller. When Red Bull selected Willie Miller in the 2001 Draft, he was pissed because he wanted to be the top pick. His frustrations continued to enrage when he dropped to the fifth spot with Alaska on the clock. With the Aces, he was used alongside Kenneth Duremdes to fuel the Aces’ offensive charge. When Duremdes left the Aces, his weaknesses were exposed. Sure he was a dominating scorer but he lacks defense. He is not gunshy and he will take the much-needed basket down the stretch but during his stint, Alaska failed to claim a crown. For this reason he was sent to the Coca-Cola Tigers and Arriba Arigo wasn’t really keen on this move. He continued to be a scoring machine until injuries limited his appearances. When he was prepared to return to his normal game, he found out that his spot has been taken over by surprise package rookie Ronjay Buenafe. His lack of defense caused him to be ceded to Barako where instead of owning a bunch of lowly teammates, he struggled to compile the points. He prematurely ended his nine-year career when he was cut by Coke when he chose to attend the Coke camp to completely ditch the Barako camp. Arigo is as flamboyant as Caguioa but is more of a headcase in terms of taming. Unfortunately for him, he has the charisma to hate and he can’t lead a team to a championship.


5 MIKE HRABAK – Willie Miller’s top pick status almost never happened when this guy showed up. Hrabak was a 6’8 behemoth that could be a threat against guys like Asi Taulava, Andy Seigle, and Eric Menk. Red Bull, Shell, and Ginebra had to choose between Miller, Hrabak, Gilbert Demape, Arigo, or Mark Caguioa. Eventually Red Bull picked Miller and Shell thought they had it good when they got Hrabak as the second pick overall. Turns out, Hrabak was a less mobile three-point shooter that barely had an inside game. Fans frown at Hrabak and as the weeks go by, we see less and less of him. Eventually he was with the Purefoods Chunkee Giants but injuries unfortunately saddled him. He resurfaced as a free agent at Red Bull Barako where he would gain recognition as a monster shot blocker and a deadshot shooter. The thought of his height pretty much made everyone consider the notion that Hrabak was like Asi Taulava and for years they used him in that position because they thought he was merely “adjusting” to the local game. Red Bull gave everyone the proper insight on the proper way to book his services.


4 PAOLO MENDOZA – He scored a record 69 points while playing for the UPIS (the record has since been erased). He averaged 40 points in the UAAP. Clearly, Paolo Mendoza was a scoring machine. It was no myth that everyday he comes early to practice to shoot 300 triples. Sta. Lucia, the team with the first choice, smartly used this pick to obtain the best pick available. However, the Realtors made a stupid move to make Mendoza a point guard. While Mendoza was small at 5’11, Joseph Yeo, Mike Cortez (at SMB), Mark Caguioa, and Willie Miller are examples of players that can break into the SG position even if they are undersized. Mendoza was required to learn orchestration and defense – and this eventually destroyed his confidence to look for his own shot. With the way his deadshot arm worked in the amateurs, he could have been the next Allan Caidic. Instead, he’s barely the next Al Solis! He is still with Sta. Lucia – which I felt was a team he should have left a long, LONG time ago. What worse is that history could repeat itself with the entry of Chris Tiu and JV Casio after their stint with the RP Team.


3 RICH ALVAREZ – The guy was a Fil-Am from Ateneo. He was once a campus crush that has a celebrity girlfriend. He owned two MVP awards and was dimmed ready to play pro ball. So what happened? First of all, I see Alvarez being the top choice as a hit or miss thing. He is not an explosive scorer even in college and is more of a Nic Belasco/ Freddie Abuda-type of player than James Yap, who is basically a scoring machine. When he became the first pick overall in the 2004 Draft by Shell, it seems like his career was driven to go to the wrong direction. Who could ever forget his distinction as the only first pick overall to NEVER play in his team’s first game? Late coach John Moran was locked in a system that Alvarez has yet to know which is why he missed the game. Moran returned to the US and Alvarez got to play major minutes under Leo Austria. Then when Shell disbanded, he was sent to Alaska alongside Tony dela Cruz. He was then traded to Red Bull but he was out for a season because of an injury. He returned to the lineup but his hiatus caused him to no longer be a star player. He bounced to Purefoods, then Ginebra, and now Air21 but it seems he can’t get a good break. Alvarez has the body of Dennis Rodman. I think he is ready for that scavenger-type of role but he needs to play for a team that would use him properly.


2 YANCY DE OCAMPO - He was a big-time performer during his St. Francis days. With Al Vergara constantly feeding him the ball, he, his brother Ranidel de Ocampo, Vergara, Eric Canlas, and Ervin Sotto piloted the Doves to big-time heights. Their play even rivalled the top schools from the UAAP and the NCAA. As a Welcoat Paint Master, scoring and rebounding was pretty much academic since his 6’9 frame makes it easy for him to score those inside and outside shots. While he wasn’t a ferocious scorer, he is an eruption waiting to happen. American scouts in their pursuit to discover the next Yao Ming, wanted to claim his services via the small-time American league, the USBL. He chose to play and become FedEx’ top pick in the 2002 Draft.

So what happened? This is where I hate Talk N Text and Air21 (or the Pangilinan and Lina franchises). Since Air21 basically gives away their best picks to the Texters, this “alliance” of sorts made Yancy’s PBA career an ongoing hell. In Air21, he plays like a star – getting big minutes and getting a lot of action for the Express. However, when he surfaces as a Tropang Texter, he plays sporadically and is merely needed for rebounds or as a relief for their starters. He is now in Ginebra, a team that gets most of their points from their backcourt. The best chance for him to succeed is by getting a good deal from a team not owned by SMC and PLDT.


1 ROMEL ADDUCULThe General is a force in the paint. In every major league he played for prior to the PBA, he was a MVP. He was the MVP and part of the five-peat San Sebastian Stags. He was a 2-time champ and MVP in the MBA. As part of the Manila Metrostars, he helped the team obtain a local hoop-best 22 straight wins en route to the championship. And while he never won as a Chowking player, he won a MVP plum when he took Welcoat to the PBL championship. He was a two-time ABC All-Star (now FIBA-Asia). In the 2003 Draft, he was picked second by Ginebra. Alaska, who owned the top rights, chose DLSU guard Mike Cortez as their top pick. Adducul was poised to be in a squad where he’ll join Mark Caguioa, Eric Menk, Jayjay Helterbrand, and Jun Limpot as its starting five.

What if Romel Adducul went straight to the PBA? That is the question in everyone’s minds. In the 1998 Draft, he could have chosen to go directly to the PBA where he’ll probably battle against Danny Ildefonso for that year’s top pick. While Adducul had a phenomenal MBA career, people dismiss it as a big dog lording over small dogs. Ildefonso, who also signed a contract to play in the MBA but eventually had a change of heart, became the top pick and went on to have two MVP seasons. In August 6, 2000, Addudul had his first taste of the PBA when he became part of the ABC All-Star squad that was set to battle the PBA All-Stars. He appeared during halftime after finishing his MBA game (Manila versus Pasig). The fans cheered whenever they see Adducul’s shots getting foiled by Asi Taulava, Eric Menk, and most of the PBA stars. When he was picked by Ginebra, he was never really the team’s first option in offense. Alaska, a team that until Sonny Thoss’ improvement was in desperate need to have a big man could have used Adducul more than Cortez. Sure, Alaska needed a point guard but they had the tenth pick of the 2003 Draft and they exchanged that to TNT for Don Camaso and that draft pick turned into PG superstar Jimmy Alapag! In Ginebra, Adducul was exposed as a mere rebounding demon that had a hard time making foul shots. When Rudy Hatfield, Rafi Reavis, and Billy Mamaril went to Ginebra, his playing time was cut. He became disgruntled and was eager as hell to be traded. He was traded eventually… to talent-laden San Miguel where his services were more of cheerleading than anything. Then he was part of a jaw-dropping trade that sent Adducul to Red Bull for Enrico Villanueva. Adducul however, was quickly sent to Purefoods for… Don Camaso. With this trade rose speculations that the PBA was SMC’s bitch and haters (alongside the declining of ratings) increased. Adducul though would play well for the Giants until he was diagnosed with cancer. After dealing with cancer, he returned to the lineup with a great ovation. However, his appearances are limited – even more limited than when he was with San Miguel.

Perhaps the best way to see the final surge of Adducul’s career is a via a trade to Sta. Lucia, Air21, or Barako but this is assuming that he still has 80 percent of his “better” version. There were a lot of people that would have believed that Adducul is a player that shouldn’t have gone to the MBA. While he did enjoy five great years in MetroBall, had he used those years to establish his game in the PBA, things could have been more different.


Samigue Eman (second pick), Doug Kramer (fifth pick) and Ken Bono (sixth pick) are candidates for the disappointing list from the 2007 Draft while Rob Reyes (fourth pick) and Mark Borboran (headline the 2008 Draft.

While this seems too early since they haven’t been in the league for more than a year, Chris Ross, Jervy Cruz, Mike Burtscher, Ogie Menor, and Chris Timberlake are candidates to make the list.

Will the mentioned names level up their games?

Will there be other names even more disappointing than those mentioned?

What great names will go on that list?


Game over.

2 Awesome Critics:

Naka-rebound ka sa entry na ito. :P

Nino Consul
May 27, 2010 at 1:03 PM comment-delete

syet basketball pun!

bwehehehehehe!

May 27, 2010 at 10:58 PM comment-delete

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