2011 PBA Draft: The Early Birds

The Draft hunt is on and so far there are ten players that have thrown their names on the proverbial hat. So far from the Smart-Gilas squad, only Fil-Foreigners Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz have made their selves available. Except for the annoyingly-handsome Chris Tiu, most of them (except for Aldrech Ramos and Greg Slaughter) are expected to join the squad.  

So let’s check out the early names involved.

MARCIO LASSITER – Let’s face it, with the way Lassiter played in the Commissioner’s Cup, there is a way for Marcio to make it big in the league. The only thing that’s stopping him from being the first pick overall is the abundance of slashers and the limitation of bigs.

CHRIS LUTZ – I haven’t really seen him break out. During the Smart-Gilas tourneys, Lutz was more of the defensive stopper than the scorer. Expect him to do well in the PBA though. I can see a whole lot of Jeff Cariaso in him and I really hope Alaska uses their pick with this guy.

MARVIN GRAEBEL – This Fil-German had stints with PBL’s Fern-C and D-League’s Cafe France. He played center for the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals. He should have been part of the 2010 PBA Draft but he withdrew. While his name isn’t as huge as most players, there is hope for this kid. Remember Mike Burtscher? Yes... he can be that guy.

MARC CAGOCO – I remember him as the spitfirish guard from the JRU Heavy Bombers. He is a decent scorer and he can provide leadership but I don’t know if Cagoco did enough to get noticed by the scouts. He should be extremely happy if he gets picked late in the second round.

CHRISTOPHER CONCEPCION – He had stints with Liga Pilipinas’ MP Gensan Warriors. While he stars for the squad and keeps tabs on the starting PG spot, little is known on whether or not he can get drafted. For his sake though, hopefully he can do a “Mark Yee” in the D-League and make his mark on the PBA.  

RAYMOND MONTANIEL – I haven’t seen this guy work his magic and that’s a problem for him when he tries to score a draft pick. While the undrafted tag could hurt his standing, guys like Jonathan Uyloan did wonders in making that position substantial.

NINO NABONG – It is said in the online postings that he is a diminutive point guard. He’s coming in with little fanfare which means it’s doubtful if he even gets drafted. The world has gone a long way from an unknown like Mark Caguioa taking the Philippines by storm.

FILEMON FERNANDEZ – He was the shortest player to participate in the 2009 PBA Rookie camp but the Fullerton College point guard withdrew his application to further hone his wares. However, he could have made his situation a little worse given that he joined a seriously talent-rich draft.

ALVYN CABONCE – The slasher from Letran was upstaged by RJ Jazul and Rey Guevarra. If only he performed superiorly well for the squad, he could have made his draft stand relevant. Well... he did what he had to do but I’m pretty sure he’ll likely end up on the rookie free agent pool.

Amongst the ten, only Lassiter and Lutz are assured of a first round spot. The rest? I’m pretty much iffy on how they’ll do. I would love to see Cagoco getting a nod but NCAA guards that aren't San Beda gets no love from the PBA squads. For one thing, they must excel in the rookie camp and if they can’t make the list, do well in the D-League and in Liga Pilipinas.

More news as the draft nears.

Game over.


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