by Waylon Galvez
Manila, Philippines – Whatever the outcome of the PBA Lottery Pick for next month’s Rookie Draft, the team that will obtain the No. 1 overall selection will not go wrong in its decision since whoever it chooses will have an impact as the franchise’s next ‘important’ player.
After all, the list of possible top picks include Greg Slaughter, Ian Sangalang, Raymond Almazan, and possibly, Bobby Ray Parks. That is how PBA chairman Robert Non sees things as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, his team, sets its sight at earning the top pick together with San Mig Coffee – two teams owned by giant food and beverage company San Miguel Corporation (SMC).
Air21 and Globalport will actually dispute the No. 1 overall pick via a lottery during halftime of Game 1 of the Governors’ Cup Finals Friday night.
The two teams ended at the bottom in the overall standings after three conferences as the Express finished with a record of 14-25, while the Batang Pier had a 7-30 card.
But since Air21 had a combined league-worst ranking of 8th–8th–10th as compared to Globalport’s 10th–10th–5th, the Express will have a two-third chance (with two small basketballs) as compared to the Batang Pier (one small basketball) in the lottery.
Neither Air21 nor Globalport will be the big winner though.
Ginebra obtained from the Express their 2013 first round pick after trading Niño Canaleta, Elmer Espiritu and John Wilson, while San Mig Coffee received this year’s first round pick from Barako Bull in a trade two years ago for Josh Urbiztondo.
The pick is originally with Coca-Cola (now Globalport) but was sent to Barako Bull for JR Quinahan.
“You can never go wrong with these guys joining the Draft,” Non told TEMPO when contacted yesterday.
“Any of these players will have an impact on the team… Slaughter, Sangalang, Almazan, or maybe (James) Forrester, (Jeric) Teng, or Parks.”
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao already aired the same opinion as far as the draft, even though the Elasto Painters will have the No. 3 overall pick which the squad acquired from a previous trade with Barako Bull involving Ronjay Buenafe and Ronnie Matias for JayR Reyes and Sol Mercado.
Slaughter, a former Smart Gilas Pilipinas and Ateneo player, and Forrester, who is currently with the Arellano Chiefs, are some of the applicants that that filed their forms before the deadline for Fil-foreign last Sept. 12, while San Sebastian’s Sangalang and Letran’s Almazan are among the early home-grown talents to submit their papers.
The locals players, like Teng and Parks, the son of former PBA import Bobby Parks who is half-Filipino but was born here, have until Oct. 18 to join the Draft, which is scheduled Nov. 3 at the Robinson’s Place Ermita, Manila.