2009 PBA Mock Draft (The Practice Round)


This was always been my “happy” moment. You see, this day is one of my most awaited. Every year, I’ll wait for the names to appear and I usually to this with a pen and paper and a hard book as “patungan”. I was first fascinated with the draft in 1993. I could still remember the first round back then…

1 STA. LUCIA – Jun Limpot
2 GINEBRA – Vic Pablo (pick later traded to Pepsi for Manny Victorino)
3 ALASKA – Johnny Abarrientos
4 PUREFOODS – Dwight Lago
5 PUREFOODS – Benny Cheng
6 ALASKA – Johnedel Cardel
7 POP COLA – Boyet Fernandez (pick traded to SLR)
8 ALASKA – Dickie Bachmann


Until the 2008 Draft, this was I think the best batch of any draft. These players became either superstars or excellent role players and even continued their basketball careers after retirement. In the second round of this draft, the Purefoods Hotdogs selected two players who would later enjoy success as a San Miguel Beermen. Olsen Racela is one time considered as the best point guard in the country whilst the Scavenger, Freddie Abuda became an excellent defensive specialist.

Through the years, those pieces of paper became Microsoft Word files and the internet has been a wealthy source of information to make the smarks (smart internet fans) ready to answer why this particular player needs to be the number one choice.


Anyway, at first glance, you’ll probably think that this year’s draft’s projected depth strength is weak, seeing that there are only four main draft players while the rest could either go number 5 or number 19.

But wait!

This draft, bolstered by big men and quarterbacks, has a deep pool of talents. Most of the talent involved could be used as projects while some could go back to Liga (where TNT has a farm team) or the PBL (where SMC has a farm team) to hone their skills further. While the draft would barely produce superstars, it is a draft that could give teams utility guys for the future.

(Finalizations will be updated a day before the actual draft)


FIRST ROUND:

1 BK – Japeth Aguilar: Obvious choice actually. Aguilar will fill BK’s lack of height. He could rebound and block and even as a benchwarmer in Western Kentucky, you know that whatever he learned in the school would produce a major upgrade from his Ateneo days. Hopefully he’ll be a scoring threat too. However, there are talks for him to go to TNT since he’ll also be a valuable asset for the Smart-Gilas RP team. Yeng Guiao has been pursuing this guy since his arrival from WKU and with the way the ball is rolling, the Whoppers would be crazy to give him up to the Texters. But then again, history has always been in favor to TNT bullying the Lina franchise with regards to their talents.

2 SHE – None: SHE stands for Shell. Obviously there’s no Shell now. Rain or Shine wants this pick but to PBA board vetoed them. If only the Painters paid a couple of million pesos more so they can acquire a potential draft bust. Hmmm…

3 PUR – Chris Ross: Purefoods lack offensive firepower from their PG spot and while Ross is not a PG, his size is saying that he is. The 6’0 scorer will fill give the Giants another scoring option. He’ll also be excellent trade bait if the trade involving Purefoods and Alaska takes place. But if Rico Villanueva becomes the person in the trade, then it would be logical for the Giants to pick up ceiling which makes Rico Maierhofer a darkhorse in this position.

4 BK – Rico Maierhofer: While this is a tossup between the UAAP bigs (unless Chris Ross is still available), grabbing the DLSU forward is better for Yeng’s squad. With the possibility of Japeth being traded, Maierhofer is long-armed, athletic and could blossom as a small forward w/ rebounding authority a la Arwind Santos. This could only be helpful if the Arwind trade rumor goes to full throttle.

Sidenote: Look at DLSU’s current state. They lack leadership. If only Rico played his final year…

5 ROS – Jervy Cruz: Getting the best talent available is a must in any draft and for ROS, this pick solves everything. The Painters will go to this draft with the intention of souping off their frontline. The former UAAP MVP will definitely benefit in this type of scenario. Problem is, at 6’4, Cruz is undersized to play center and even the low post. I doubt if his defense will be affected but certainly his offense will become limited.

6 ALA – Terrell Theophile: This solves Alaska’s lack of size with their aging “MBA” frontline. He is said to be an explosive frontline scorer and defender. Obviously Sonny Thoss is doing his part in the inside but he is more of a defender than a scorer. Certainly, his entry is a welcome sight for the Aces.

7 SLR – Josh Vanlandingham: Remember when two years back, SLR selected Ryan Reyes and everyone said “Damn it, you should have taken a big man?”! Well, I think its time for SLR to strengthen their offense by picking this combo guard. Josh is 6’4 and he could either strengthen the lack of offense in their PG spot (Miranda is good for orchestrating but is more of a passer than a scorer), or join Yeo and Reyes in a lightning quick 3-guard lineup!

8 GIN – Edwin Asoro: While I’m looking for the possibility of them selecting Robert Pressey, fact is, the guy may not even get his chance to play this season (I think it’s a requirement for foreigners to play in the PBL). With that said, the Kings had a roster glitch because except for Eric Menk, none of their big men are scoring big men (You can say Billy Mamaril but this happens once in 4 games). Asoro reminds me a lot of a young Nelson Asaytono or a younger Don Camaso. He has size, bulk and explosiveness. Surely, he’ll be a fan favorite if he develops properly.

9 BK – Ogie Menor: Gone from the Smart-Gilas team, I think it is safe to say that Ogie Menor should be an excellent trade bait for TNT. Menor is a San Beda Lion just like Yousif Aljamal and Pong Escobal, and he plays like a young Ronald Tubid. If he sticks with BK he’ll definitely be Yeng’s shooting “shooter” a la Junthy Valenzuela with the Whoppers.

10 SMB – Ford Arao: SMB loves to pick up their farm league players and with their massive collection of talents, they could strengthen their team by picking up Ford Arao. The guy is a project from a good school that could hurt you thru his defense. Yes, I know that SMB is insanely crowded but somebody has to be the designated sacrificial lamb and unfortunately it’s Arao. On the other hand, look at how Bonbon Custodio turned up in his rookie year.

Note: I don’t know if Arao will join the draft but he’s name is not in the Smart-Gilas roster (he didn’t sign), and he’s too old to hold out (he is allegedly waiting for Chris Tiu so that they could go up in the PBA together. You’ll have to wait for three years to join the draft? WHAT!?!).


SECOND ROUND:

11 BB – Chris Timberlake: Although the Bulls would be extremely lucky to get Timberlake this late in the draft Leo Isaac will surely thank the heavens for this pint-sized quarterback. At least the Bulls will acquire a full-time starter. Also, Timberlake looks like a mini version of Gabby Espinas. They’ll be the PBA version of Finlay and Hornswoggle (don’t know these two? Look them up!)

12 SLR – James Sena: I could be wrong (if he’ll enter) but I think Sena could be one of those NCAA players that will apply in the draft (a la Najorda and Dela Pena) despite still playing in the collegiate league (how come the UAAP couldn’t do that?). Anyway, the JRU Bomber could be the steal of the draft because he has that “marquee” mentality that could bolsten the Realtors bench especially with Kelly Williams’ blood disorder hampering his chances to play in the next season.

Note: If Sena is not included in the draft, Thiele and Ballesteros are notable replacements as SLR’s pick.

13 BB – Hans Thiele: Hey! A team filled with lanky dark-skinned bald guys! No shit! While he’s no offensive threat, he’s certainly a guy that could earn tenure in the league with his defensive intensity. A cross between Willy Wilson and Gabby Espinas, Thiele will give everything he’s got to get those Freddie Abuda plays. Obviously, Barako Bull will definitely shore up its frontline with the acquisition of these up and coming young guns.

14 BK – Marcy Arellano: If this UE alum ends up with the Whoppers, this means a season of practicing for Marvin Cruz (as a practice player unless he improves his standing to coach Yeng). Hopefully his scoring and orchestrating will see a great PBA future. Arellano’s part of UE’s disappointing 14-0 season (DLSU mocked their feat and won that season), and he hopes to be part of a championship team in the PBA.

15 ROS – Ronnie Matias: After filling up their need for the inside, the Painters could use a guy that has the capacity to become the next “Gary David”. Yes, Matias is a scorer that could help his team pile up points if asked. He’s also a great addition to the Painters’ bench as he can play the three small positions when guys like TY Tang and Sol Mercado are hurting.

16 ALA – Lance Convento: Aside from a scoring big guy, the Aces lack a credible quarterback to backstop LA Tenorio. Convento might be a longshot at this position but if he’s available, Alaska shouldn’t hesitate in picking this guy. He played a swell job as quarterback for PBL’s Hapee. This means Kelvin dela Pena will have a more strenuous route to PBA superstardom.

17 SLR – Orlando Darroya: Here’s again, an answer for SLR’s depth chart. While no big-named school produced him, his abilities could not be ignored. He can shoot, pass, and rebound. He may not be your typical power forward that could block, but this guy has also the capacity to switch from inside bruiser to outside sniper with a snap of the finger.

18 GIN - Francis Allera: This UST player plays better in the PBL than in the UAAP. Allera can play the forward positions and he could score perimeters usually seen with guards. He’ll create zero impact as a King? Well, not quite. While the Gins are flushed with scoring threats, they lack the guys that want to do the jobs “star players” hate. He’s also a good defender. His skills need polishing.

19 TNT – Benedict Fernandez: The FEU alum has his work cut out of him if he ends up in the bottom parts of the draft. TNT will not use him often but I think he’ll give them precious minutes off the bench. With Chot Reyes leaning on playing guys that could do offense and defense (poor Renren Ritualo), Fernandez will get a piece of the action.

20 BK – Jason Ballesteros: What? BK has FIVE PICKS IN THE DRAFT!?! My initial answer for this pick is “PASS” since Yeng Guiao will definitely NOT use this to his advantage. However, if he decides to pick up a player that would eventually go to the free agent pool, Ballesteros is a 6’7 beanpole that could collect the points and the boards in an instant. But as I have said, I doubt if Yeng Guiao will not use his “pass” button.


NO PICK: COKE – Coke unfortunately lost their pick in a trade that sent Billy Mamaril to the Tigers. Their second round pick was also lost due to the Joseph Yeo/Cesar Catli trade (wow, Coke bombed in that trade given how Yeo has improved and how Catli has been utilized). However the Tigers are a team yearning to improve their bench, particularly the guy to sub for Alex Cabagnot. This season Cabagnot is fielding in almost 37 minutes per game (only Kelly Williams averaged higher with 39mpg). Josh Urbiztondo and Ian Saladaga are great prospects. In their frontline, they could choose Neil Pascual, Roel Hugnatan, Dino Daa, Rino Berame, and PJ Walsham (although I just hope they’ll develop Lawrence Bonus). Jim Viray is PBA ready and he’ll likely play a la Reed Juntilla when acquired.

The good news is that most of the teams are now willing to look at those undrafted players. Jim Viray could find work in a Coke or Sta. Lucia uniform while Nick Stephens, big but inadequate in some aspects of his game, could end up playing for ROS and even Sta. Lucia. The worst choice for a team right now is going to San Miguel, Purefoods, BK, and Talk N Text. Barako Bull, Coke, Rain or Shine, and Sta. Lucia are the best places to see shining opportunities. Alaska and Ginebra are in desperate need for a scoring big man and the Aces, along with SLR and ROS could use a PG in their roster. Robert Pressey (Dorian Pena's younger half brother) could see his name in the draft but the verdict is still out for Charles Waters, Nick Stephens and Ramsey Williams… who were kind of duds the moment we last saw them.

Like I said, this is not the de-facto prediction. But this could pretty much be the way the draft should go.

But until then…

Game over.

2 comments:

  1. valandingham, thiele and convento wont be joining this years draft. im pretty much sure timberlake will be in the top 10 picks.. im thinking #5. pretty shallow draft this year..

    ReplyDelete
  2. hehe. astig, you saw my page!

    anywho, visit hoops.blink.ph page for more updates.

    also ballesteros, theophile, and arao will not join the draft. also, i wrote their that matias was a slasher. that's seriously wrong.

    will finalize this before the week ends.

    ReplyDelete