PBA News: August 26, 2011
The draft list is down from 36 to 34 following the incomplete papers of Chris Pestano and Raymond Montaniel, according to the tweets of Quinito Henson. Magi Sison is the biggest player in the draft at almost 6’7 while Nino Nabong is the shortest at 5’7. Chris Concepcion is the oldest at 29 while Ken Acibar is the youngest at 21.
Draft day isn’t all about the rookies though. It’s a prelude on what’s going to happen in the 37th season of the PBA. So as D-Day approaches, let’s check out the news that’s been unfolding.
ALASKA: Call them cheapskates but the Aces have the money to keep big-named stars but they’ll rather keep players that want to win. Also, they want to cash in on stars that will fit Tim Cone’s system. The problem is, they have five spots to fill in the first two rounds. Alaska was never big of giving a lot of playing time on rookies but I can see this changing.
BARAKO BULL: Willie Miller is on the trading block and Dondon Hontiveros has yet to sign up with the squad. Barako Bull is poised to have three first round choices which mean they virtually own a slew of new faces that they can train and throw away to other squads. Danny Seigle, Leo Avenido, and Paul Artadi have also expiring contracts but smart money says that Artadi will be the only player who’ll check out other squads to garner playing time.
B-MEG: After claiming the fifth spot they have the unhappy task of ceding a player to Shopinas and checking out the right player to fill that spot. Kerby Raymundo is trying his best to regain his form and he’s training double-time since Joe Devance is comfortably in his spot. It’s likely that Jorge Gallent will give up his chief mentor spot as the SMC carousel continues.
GINEBRA: Siot Tanquingcen will move to head coach and it’s not certain on whether or not Jong Uichico will move to B-Meg or remain with the Kings as an assistant coach. They are surprisingly mum on who they’re picking but they may not need it with Rudy Hatfield allegedly returning to the squad.
MERALCO: They’ll bore themselves out in the first two rounds after shopping heavily in the 2010 PBA Draft. I can see them trying to snag a draft spot though, possibly with one of Alaska’s four second round picks. The Bolts claimed Mark Macapagal from the Powerade Tigers which made Renren Ritualo expendable. It was an upgrade though and one thing they need to bolster is their PG spot.
PETRON: Their shooting guard void may be sealed with the addition of Willie “Thriller” Miller. The deal is not yet final but word is Barako Bull/Air21’s conduit-ness is here to stay. The newly-crowned Gov’s Cup champs will lose Lordy Tugade, Paolo Hubalde, and apparently Jojo Duncil to Shopinas. They’ll also lose their first round pick and a random Petron player to Barako Bull because of the Miller trade which makes the Blaze Boosters virtually bench-starved.
POWERADE: The Tigers own the first pick in the draft and this is bar none the happiest problems they have ever encountered since changing their brand. The Tigers are fashioning a new look with them losing Mark Macapagal, Norman Gonzales, and JR Quinahan and gaining Josh Vanlandingham and Doug Kramer.
RAIN OR SHINE: It has been a busy off-season for the Elasto Painters. They lost Josh Vanlandingham, Doug Kramer, and RJ Jazul but they gained JR Quinahan, Norman Gonzales, and Powerade’s 2013 and 2014 second round picks. They will gain a marquee point guard in the draft and if you know Yeng Guiao, he’ll likely fish for an unheralded talent and make them lucky player a big-time enforcer.
SHOPINAS: The Clickers have a new name and apparently they are bolstering up their lineup. Jojo Duncil, Paolo Hubalde, and Pong Escobal will be joined by released ex-Smart-Gilas and Rain or Shine star RJ Jazul. The just went green with their coaching staff following the entry of Franz Pumaren and they are keen in bringing in Renren Ritualo and Don Allado alongside Shawn Weinstein and Khasim Mirza. For Mirza this is a nice development because his rookie season is remembered for a span of four minutes. They lost their fifth spot at the draft but they will gain a B-Meg player. Hopefully it will be a healthy Rico Maierhofer.
TALK N TEXT: The Tropang Texters have themselves the seventh spot in the draft... as if they need it. They’ll probably look for a “talent boost” in the draft despite obtaining the rights of former top pick Japeth Aguilar. I can see TNT finding a way to claim Barako Bull’s third top pick. Like I said, before there was a D-League... there was a talent-development wing in the PBA called the Air21 Express (former name of Barako Bull).
So come draft day, lives will change and the landscape of Philippine pro basketball will experience a serious change-up.
Will the best players get the best deals on their new home?