By WAYLON GALVEZ
Manila, Philippines – Barako Bull has come under fire for dealing three first round picks, but history has been kind to teams that gave away their picks for players which they think could help them.
In 2008, San Miguel Beer (now Petron Blaze) dealt its No. 3 overall pick to Talk ‘N Text to get forward Anthony Jay Washington.
The deal enabled the Texters to draft Jayson Castro.
Both teams benefited from the trade.
The six-foot-seven Washington had a solid career with SMB, winning a pair of Best Player of the Conference awards. He’s now with Globalport after being dealt during last season’s Governors’ Cup.
Castro, on the other hand, turned out to be what the doctor ordered for the Texters whom he helped win five titles aside from being named Finals MVP and best player of the conference.
In 2010, TNT gave its No. 4 pick to Alaska to be able to get Larry Fonacier.
The Aces used the pick to get Elmer Espiritu, then a University of the East superstar.
But while the 6-2 Fonacier blossomed into a solid contributor for TNT aside from earning a spot to Smart Gilas national team, Espiritu struggled.
After a few conferences with Alaska, Espiritu was traded to Ginebra before ending up with Barako.
A strong college career is no guarantee that a player would be successful in the PBA, according to some basketball experts.
A classic example is the 6-4 Espiritu.
“You can’t really tell. Maybe he’s a very good player in college, but when he arrived in the PBA, he struggled and found it difficult to adjust in the pro league. Sometimes, the player who went to the other team blossoms into an all-star player,” one expert said.
In exchange for the draft picks, Barako Bull got Willy Wilson and Rico Maierhofer from Ginebra, Magi Sison and Mark Isip from Petron, and Denok Miranda from Globalport.
Barako Bull was also busy during the draft, taking Jeric Fortuna and Carlo Lastimosa in second round, Darwin Cordero in the third round, Jett Vidal in the fourth and Mike Silungan in the fifth.