2011 PBA Draft: Next in Line

From ten, the list explodes to nineteen. JV Casio, Chris Tiu, Junmar Fajardo (still keeping my hopes up even though it’s bleak at this point), Paul Lee, and Dylan Ababou have yet to process their papers but it seems like some of the best players outside the PBA will try their luck in the upcoming 2011 PBA Draft.

Let’s check out the names.

MAC BARACAEL – After a past shooting incident that almost destroyed his playing career, Baracael is in cloud nine as one of Gilas’ unpredictable offensive arsenals. Whenever I see him, his gameplay reminds me of a cross between Ronald Tubid and Bong Ravena. I don’t know if he’s wily enough in terms of defense or if he can be a franchise player if he was the lucky guy to get picked up by Shopinas but he will be a wonderful addition for the PBA’s future.

MARK BARROCA – He played for the FEU Tamaraws in the UAAP and he is the co-Team Captain of the Smart-Gilas squad. For teams eager to claim a marquee point guard, consider your selves lucky if you find Barroca available. Barroca can find his self settling in the lower first round of the draft though. Sure he has unbelievable offensive as well as tolerable defensive skills but I don’t know if he can be a major help for teams that will just make him a backup quarterback.

JASON BALLESTEROS – Now this is a player I consider as the darkhorse of the draft. With Junmar Fajardo’s draft hopes bleak, he is I think the only credible big man left in the draft. Sure, he is seldom seen playing in Smart-Gilas but there is a reason why he is sticking in the squad since Day One. I remember in the Dubai tourney when Marcus Douthit has yet to join the squad and the injury to Japeth Aguilar gave Ballesteros monster minutes. While he’s lacking in the scoring aspect his super suave defense should give him the chance to even go as high as fourth in the draft.

ALLEIN MALIKSI – If there was one thing that’s good about the D-League, it’s that it gave spotlight to those who were talented enough to make it. Maliksi is the first and as of this moment only D-League MVP when he was playing for the finalist Cebuana Lhuillier Gems. Before that he was merely Dylan Ababou and Khasim Mirza’s backup in his UST days. If we’re going to judge Maliksi in his UAAP career, then chances are is that he’ll be left undrafted. With the way he played though, he’ll likely make the early second round of the draft.

ERIC SALAMAT – He had the luxury to play for Ateneo during the team’s title-hunting era. He has a shot in the outside and has tolerable defensive skills. In his last season at Ateneo, he led the team in points (11.6), assists (4.6) and steals (2.4). The problem I have against Salamat is whether he can play the point guard spot effectively in the PBA. For every Olsen Racela and LA Tenorio, there’s also a Magnum Membrere and Macky Escalona. He’ll likely see TV time at the late second round of the draft.

PAMBOY RAYMUNDO – In the 2010 NCAA Season, he was the best point guard in the league behind Borgie Hermida. The guy is a pass-first orchestrator that can shoot the lights out when given the go signal. This kind of player gained serious importance after the production of Rob Labagala. Pamboy was also a stable PG for the D-League champs NLEX Road Warriors. I can see him snagging a spot for a team in search of second-string quarterbacks.

JAMES MARTINEZ – The injury that sidelined him in 2009 still haunts him ‘til this very day. When he returned to the lineup, he just missed the bull-strong 2009 squad. Despite his numbers (11.0ppg, 3.1rpg, and 1.6apg), he never really did anything significant because at that time, UE was the Paul Lee and Ken Acibar show. Maybe we can see Martinez’s name in the late second round but I doubt if it can go anywhere higher.

GILBERT BULAWAN – The San Sebastian slasher is bent on making a name for his self although I am not sold that he’ll get picked in the draft. Maybe I haven’t really paying attention on him but the online folks are making a case on his talents. Bulawan was part of the Stags lineup that snagged a title away from San Beda and in the D-League, he was part of the FCA Cultivators.

ARIEL MEPANA – The Cebuano bruiser played college ball with the UV Lancers. He also played for ML Kwarta Padala and most recently, the PBA D-League’s Cebuana Lhuillier Gems. I haven’t really seen him play although I am familiar with his name. Down the line he could roughhouse his way to the PBA but I doubt if he’ll get drafted.  

If I was the entire PBA, this is how the first round of the 2011 PBA Draft would look like.


The draft depth in the first round is kind of solid although we’ll probably assume that most of the teams will pass in the second round.

The good news here is that there will be other applicants who will join the draft.

Let the updates commence

Game over.


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