27 August 2014

Who Wins, Who Losses in the 2014 PBA Draft

Stanley Pringle
Last Sunday’s 2014 PBA Rookie Draft at the Atrium of the Robinson’s Place in Manila was with packed audience expecting some fireworks, but failed to see a big explosion. The very lean pool compared to last year also had many in thinking if the event will really usher anything new in the PBA’s 40th season.

There were a total of 95 rookie applicants, but 8 of them were not included in the final list. Unfortunately, the 8-time world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao was not one of those that were excluded.

Also appointed as head coach by expansion team KIA Sorento, Pacquiao was a no-show, which puts in question his commitment in bringing back the respect and prestige of the league. The PBA has been hampered by criticism of favouritism and lopsided deals in the last 3-5 years and Pacquiao has been rumoured to receive several special exemptions from PBA rules lately.

Overall, the draft picks were as expected. There were a few surprises, but when taken in the context of what is currently happening to several teams, it actually makes sense. We now take a look back at the events that unfolded on the draft day and try, in our own humble way, to grade the top teams on how they fared.


GlobalPort Batang Pier (A+): Stanley Pringle, Anthony Semerad, Prince Caperal, Nard Pinto

Anytime you get a chance to select the top pick and you use it to nab the best player in the pool, y9ou will always get your money’s worth. That’s what GlobalPort did and they could not go wrong with an outstanding blue chipper in Stanley Pringle. With Alex Cabagnot and Terrence Romeo in the backcourt, Batang Pier just made a good move to make their depth solid with Pringle.

Batang Pier also made a good use of the 7th pick that they acquired from San Mig Coffee when they selected Anthony Semerad. The move was followed by the selection of Prince Caperal and Nard Pinto. Coach Pido Jarencio will now have to worry on how to make Semerad and Caperal be able to mesh with their limited bigs and bang bodies with other team’s more seasoned and athletic front court. With the bulk of the scoring coming from the back court, Pinto may have a hard time making it to the roster.

Alaska Aces (A): Chris Banchero, Rome Dela Rosa, Jun Jun Alas

Other analysts gave Alaska Aces a very high mark in their assessment on how it performed in the rookie draft. This blog would have scored the same thing if not for that last head-scratching pick.

After Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, San Miguel Beermen (via Barako Bull) and NLEX Road Warriors, skip Chris Banchero in the draft, everyon at the Aces table knew that have one of the top prospects in the bag. Banchero, who topped 4 of the 5 physical tests among the rookies, was pegged by experts to go up as high as number 2 overall only to see his name drop to number 5. The reasons are, of course, are justified, but that’s another story.

Coach Alex Compton has a good chance now to move Jayvee Casio back to his sweet spot, shooting guard, while Banchero can man the point. High-leaper Cyrus Baguio may have to adjust playing off the bench or the Aces could play small and make their primary small forward. Rome Dela Rosa, who is known for his defensive resilience, can help provide the aging Baguio and Dondon Hontiveros some quality minutes.

The two picks are worthy to make the Aces rank higher that Batang Pier, but picking overweight Jun Jun Alas was a big letdown considering that Prince Caperal, Frank Golla and Kyle Pascual are still available at that point. Being Assistant Coach Louie Alas’ elder son, this pick smells a lot like the company’s attempt not to embarrass Alas for having been snubbed in the draft. One good thing coming for the Aces is that now they have a chance to see if Alas and Ryan Buenafe can become the next “Extra Rice” combo.


KIA Sorento (F): Manny Pacquiao, Kyle Pascual, Rene Pacquiao, Kenneth Ighalo, Paolo Taha, Jeremy Bartolo, Anthony Gavieres, Richard Cole, Giorgio Umali, Jonathan Banal, Michael Acuña

There was only one team that failed to meet fans expectations and cast doubt about their sincerity to win anything in the league: KIA Sorrento. It is even doubtful if the team stood a big chance of winning a single game against the line-up of NLEX Warriors last year in the D-League.

Who in their right mind will select an aging boxer with no high-level basketball experience as their 11th pick when the likes of Rome de la Rosa and Juneric Baloria and Prince Caperal still available? There is no doubt the Manny Pacquiao is a great boxer and could also turn out to be a strategic coach, but as a player he is not worthy to even grace the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL).

I totally understand the need for the team to get Pacquiao as he will serve as their head coach. But they could have simply spoken to the other team owners and requested that he not be drafted up to the second round so that they don’t have to waste away their first round pick.

As Jay Mercado of PinoExchange.com aptly put it, this is “reminiscent of Robert Jaworski, Sr.’s drafting of his son, Dodot, as 10th overall pick in the 1995 draft.”

Not contented with the blunder of picking Pacquiao, the Sorrentos selected his relative, Rene Pacquiao as their 25th pick. If this is not dumbest and biggest *face palm* the league has seen in years, then my name is Lebron James.

No comments:

Post a Comment