Big names in PBL, college hoops among hopefuls
For Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua, hearing the names of players who made themselves available for the coming PBA Draft was certainly sweet music to his ears.
His problem now is that he has to study each rookie hopeful thoroughly and carefully to come up with an intelligent choice for the top pick in the 2006 PBA Annual Draft set August 20 at the Market! Market! in Taguig.
With the best and the finest of the PBL and the country’s premier collegiate leagues beating Friday’s deadline for application, the initial draft roster offers Sta. Lucia a deep pool to choose from.
RP team aspirant pool members Arwind Santos, Joseph Yeo and LA Tenorio banner the list that include prized Fil-Am players Joe Devance, Rob Reyes and Kelly Williams, and collegiate standouts Boyet Bautista, Gabby Espinas, Mark Isip and Junjun Cabatu.
From this list may well come the No. 1 pick.
A total of 56 players beat the deadline for draft application. The list, however, is likely to be pruned down after a thorough scrutiny by the league of the papers of the applicants.
Other named players in the roster are NCAA MVP winner Jay Sagad and PBL and collegiate standouts Magnum Membrere, Christian Luanzon, RJ Rizada, Robert Sanz, Mark Andaya, John Paul Alcaraz, Jonathan Aldave, Aaron Aban, Frederick Feliciano, Jerome Paterno, Erwin Sta. Maria, Mark Magsumbol, Chico Lanete, Al Vergara, Dennis Daa, Jay-R Reyes, Donald Dulay and Ronjay Enrile.
Completing the list are Glenn Perseveranda of Solano College, Orvie Vidad of Newvic College, Ralph Ibanes, Oliver Gavino and Abraham Santos of UP, Ariel de Castro and Alfie Grijaldo of NU, Ryan Cristobal, Ronnie Bughao and Paul Reguera of San Beda, Philp Butel and Ollan Omiping of UE, Chris Pacana of St. Francis, Richard Alonzo of Adamson, Denver Roque and Nicole Marasigan of San Sebastian, Nilo Sta. Cruz of Letran, Manuel Caceres of PSBA, Bob Ilanga of University of Mindanao, Erian Daja of WNC, Marlon Kalaw of MLQU, Alexander Sibug of Dominican College, Christian Arellano of Cooolege of Dupage and Christopher Apaitan of MSU.
At this point, Chua said there’s no consensus favorite yet to be the top pick.
Chua, however, noted there’s a bumper crop of PBA hopefuls this year with Santos, DeVance, Williams, Tenorio and Yeo the premium players in their respective positions.
Cabatu, Enrile and Reyes are likely to be struck out of the list as they could be the three amateur players Welcoat Paints will automatically elevate to the pro ranks upon its PBA entry this coming season.
Fil-Ams Williams, DeVance and Reyes are likewise not that certain to be included in the final list of draftees as they have yet to complete their documentary requirements. They have been given until the end of the month do to so.
While Sta. Lucia owns the first pick, Air21 has the rights for the second and fourth picks and San Miguel the third and fifth picks.
Anthony Washington was Air21’s top pick last year who was traded to Talk n Text. The 6-foot-7 Fil-Am behemoth didn’t see much action though due to injuries.
Curiously, the season’s Rookie of the Year honors went to Red Bull’s second round pick Larry Fonacier. (NC)