01 July 2015

2015 Draft Could Be eNUff for the Bolts

NU Connection
The Meralco Bolts are arguably one of the most fascinating PBA teams in the coming 2015 Draft. They have two first round picks and they are expected to use them wisely just like when they used their 2012 fourth pick to grab athletic Clifford Hodge.

Picking fourth and seventh, the Bolts will most probably use the first one to choose who among Jeth Troy Rosario or Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. are still available. The 6-foot-7 power-forward Moala Tautuaa would fit well with the Bolts athletic frontline, but with Talk N' Text choosing first, the Filipino-Tongan will probably be the top pick.

Kia Carnival is picking second, but was reported to be interested in what the other teams can offer in exchange. With no low-post threat in their roster, Kia would be hard-pressed not to choose Rosario.

The 6-foot-7 power-forward from National University has seen his stock rise considerably after his breakout performance in the Philippines' hard-earned win over Thailand in the 28th Southeast Asian Games semifinals. He hoped he has made an impression on PBA teams after his 27-point, 12-rebound performance in the Gilas cadets' 80-75, but insisted he doesn't even see himself as a lock for a top three position in the coming PBA rookie draft.

Rosario has the height and build to play as a power forward or even a center in the pros and he’s also mobile and athletic enough to be a small forward.

He has also developed a decent outside shot extending to the three-point area which makes him a tough to cover considering that he can also put the ball on the floor and score on the low block. But Rosario knows he can’t rely on his skills alone and that he also has to adjust with the style of play in the PBA.

"I’m still getting used to the physicality because it’s not that physical in the UAAP. The D-League is very different that’s why I’m still trying to adjust," he admitted.

If Kia or whatever team picks Rosario, then the Bolts had another chance to land a certified blue-chip player and a potential franchise player from which they could build on.

Parks is a multidimensional player who played three seasons for the NU Bulldogs in the UAAP before playing for Banco De Oro, NLEX Road Warriors and Hapee Fresh Fighters in the PBA D-League.

The 6-foot-4 swingman is currently in the U.S. after he was invited to work out with the Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics.

Parks became automatically eligible for the 2015 NBA draft as an international player who turned 22 during the calendar year of the draft. After going undrafted, he received an invitation from the Dallas Mavericks to play for them in the NBA Summer League.

If the son of the late PBA Best import awardee can't get a spot in the NBA and decides to hone his skills further in the PBA, then the Bolts should immediately try to get his services when they pick fourth in the draft. That's a no-brainer because he is a perfect fit with the team; he might need some time to learn the intricacies of PBA defense, but in a few years, he'll be an extremely important cog in Bolts' quest for their first ever PBA title.

Parks is a force in the open court and on defense. He shows the ability to score in a variety of ways, with spot up shooting as well as scoring off the dribble. He can also finish at the rim with highlight dunks, and does a good job of utilizing his great body strength to absorb contact.

Scouting reports reveal that Parks is very dangerous in the open floor with his speed and leaping ability. He has tremendous basketball body with solid wingspan and great body strength. He can be described as one of those rare kids that had a PBA ready body coming out of high school.

Yes, the Bolts have two promising options, and they tend to choose the right one always. But they will be facing a wrinkle if Rosario gets drafted second and Parks gets hired by an NBA team. This will be an interesting story next.

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