Rain or Shine mentor Yeng Guiao is keeping his options open as far as the team’s third overall pick is concerned in Sunday’s PBA Rookie Draft at Robinson’s Place in Ermita, Manila.
“We’ll keep that a mystery,” said Guiao when contacted by Tempo yesterday.
“Para naman magkaroon ng konting excitement. Kasi iyung 1-2 picks naman mukhang alam na ng lahat e. So kapag sinabi ko pa kung sino ang kukunin namin with the No. 3 pick wala ng excitement. Baka wala na manood ng draft niyan,” added Guiao in jest.
Talk ’N Text owns the No. 1 overall pick followed by Kia at No. 2, with 6-foot-7 Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa and National U 6-foot-7 center Troy Rosario at the crosshairs.
Turning serious, Guiao said that he too, as well as the coaching staff and top ROS management, have no decision yet when it comes to the pick, although they have two players that are high on their list.
These are Chris Newsome and Norbert Torres, formerly of college rival teams Ateneo and De La Salle University.
Newsome is a 6-foot-3 guard-forward while the 6-foot-6 Torres plays forward-center.
In yesterday’s final day of the Gatorade PBA Draft Combine, some of Guiao’s coaching staff had a close look on Torres as part of the Team-G ROS that won the mini-tournament by beating Team-C Kia, 16-10, at the Hoops Gym in Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City.
Rain or Shine has invited Torres – and hopefully Newsome – in today’s practice session at the Northeast Green Hills gym in San Juan for Guiao to personally see the rookie prospects.
“They (Torres and Newsome) are certainly high on our list, but we don’t have a decision on who to take. I cannot guarantee anybody that they are the No. 3 pick,” said Guiao.
“We also took note of the performances of the other rookies in the Draft Combine… but we’re keeping our options open. We don’t look at position this time. Before kasi palagi namin tinitignan big man. Now we’re also looking at the best available talent.” “Yes, we need a big man, but we don’t want to tie ourselves to that. Kumbaga ayaw namin isara yung pinto sa options namin ngayon. After Paul and (Lee) Jeff (Chan), we need a third scoring option. That is another area where we can improve ourselves,” added Guiao.
Rain or Shine owners Raymond Yu and Terry Que will also have a meeting today with Guiao to plot strategy for Sunday’s Rookie Draft.
The first round order will have TNT – the Commissioner’s Cup champion – selecting No. 1 overall, followed by Kia and Rain or Shine. Meralco has two picks at No. 4 and No. 7, while Ginebra owns the No. 5 pick.
NLEX has the 6th and 10th picks, while Star – under rookie head coach Jason Webb – will select at No. 8, followed by Blackwater at No. 9, Alaska at No. 11 and Rain or Shine at No. 12.
The Draft Combine also gave other rookies an opportunity to shine as Glenn Khobuntin of National University, Letran’s Kevin Racal, Mike Mabulac of Jose Rizal University and Fil-Am Vincent diGregorio of McKendree University were named to the Mythical Five with Torres.
Ryan Wetherell, a 5-foot-9 former teammate of now NBA player OJ Mayo at University of Southern California, ruled three of the four skills test, topping the 3/4 Court Sprint with 3.22 seconds, Lane Agility with 10.80 seconds, and Maximum Vertical Leap with 43 inches.
Robin Roño of the NU Bulldogs bested other applicants in the Reaction Time with 0.366 second.