Sports: Presenting: The PBA Class Of 2012
Last Sunday’s 2012 Rookie Draft of the Philippine Basketball Association’s 2012-13 season was full of drama albeit many of those expected to get drafted were eventually picked by the 10 professional league quintets led by Petron Blaze.
Taken at No. 1 in this year’s rookie draft was 6-10 Cebuano big man Junmar Fajardo by the Blaze Boosters. And in a sudden twist, Petron took Fil-Am Alex Mallari at third after Alaska picked Calvin Abueva at No. 2.
Rounding out the Top 10 are Clifford Hodge III (Meralco) at No. 4, Aldrech Ramos (Barako Bull) at fifth, Fil-Am Chris Ellis (Ginebra) taken at No. 6, Chris Tiu (Rain or Shine) sliding to No. 7, another Fil-Am in Keith Jensen (Ginebra) at eighth, Vic Manuel and Jason Deutchman, both taken by newcomer Global Port at No. 9 and No. 10.
The 6-6 Ramos was, however, quickly shipped to B-Meg in exchange for Sean Anthony and the Llamados’ No. 12 rookie pick which later turned out to be 6-5 Dave Marcelo. Anthony was earlier acquired from the Batang Pier (formerly Powerade) by the Llamados for reserve Val Acuna and B-Meg’s ninth pick overall which was used by Global Port in drafting the 6-4 Manuel.
Barako Bull was the most prolific during the second round of drafting as the Energy selected Marcelo (No. 12), Lester Alvarez (No. 15), 5-6 Emman Monfort of Iloilo (No. 16) and University of the Philippines forward Woody Co at No. 18.
Others chosen in the second round were 6-7 Yousef Taha at No. 11 by the Air21 Express, 6-5 Jewel Ponferada of National University at No. 13 by the B-Meg Llamados, unknown AJ Mandani at No. 14 by Global Port, Kelly Nabong at No. 17 by Meralco (swapped with Rain or Shine for the Bolts’ 2015 second-round pick), Raphy Reyes at No. 19 by the Aces and Jaypee Belencion for Talk ‘N Text (No. 20).
In the third, those chosen were (in order) Simon Atkins by Air21, Karl Dehesa by Alaska, Ryan Boado by Barako Bull, Janus Lozada by Meralco, Mark Sarangay by Petron, Mark Acosta by Global Port, Bacon Austria by Rain or Shine, Jerick Canada by Ginebra, Gian Chiu by B-Mega and Jason Escueta by Talk ‘N Text.
In the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, selected were Joseph Hermosisima by the Energy, Erick Suguitan by the Bolts, Jan Colina by the Batang Pier, Jewel Palomique by the Elasto Painters, Paul Zamar by the Kings, Ramon Mabayo by the Llamados, Virgilio Serios by Global Part again and JR Buensuceso and Eliott Tan by Ginebra anew.
Among those who were not picked were Fil-Am Mark Jeffries, Fhadzmir Bandaying, June Dizon, Paul Gonzalgo, Allan Mangahas, Christopher Pestano, Danilo Pribhdas and Jerome Rubi. They become free agents automatically...
Well, it seems everybody was happy during D-Day with the exception of Talk ‘N Text which was lucky enough to pluck the 6-2 Belencion and the 6-5 Escueta in the latter part of the draft rites. Belencion was a D-League three-point artist with NLEX while Escueta was a former Ateneo Blue Eagle big man.
Petron has undeniably increased the team’s stock following the selection of Fajardo and Mallari with the duo expected to be signed immediately by the Blaze Boosters with new mentor Olsen Racela set to call the shots vice the fired Ato Agustin.
The Blaze Boosters will now have such big names as Arwind Santos, Jay Washington, Chris Lutz, Marcio Lassiter, Dondon Hontiveros and Alex Cabagnot in one solid lineup which means that players like Siverino Baclao, Rob Reyes, Joseph Yeo and even Denok Miranda can be considered expendable come next season.*
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