By REYNALD MAGALLON
Scottie Thompson made Ginebra teammate and big man Christian Standhardinger the first pick while Japeth Aguilar selected long-time Gilas Pilipinas frontcourt partner June Mar Fajardo in the historic PBA All-Star draft on Monday, Feb. 20 at the TV5 Center in Mandaluyong.
Team Scottie, which will be handled by Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao also picked teammate Stanley Pringle, Calvin Abueva and Mark Barroca of Magnolia, Robert Bolick and Arvin Tolentino of NorthPort, Kevin Alas of NLEX, Jayson Castro of TNT, Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel and James Yap of Rain or Shine.
Mentored by Kings coach Tim Cone, Team Aguilar, meanwhile, has Ginebra teammates LA Tenorio, Jamie Malonzo, Jeremiah Gray and Nards Pinto, Meralco’s Chris Newsome, TNT’s RR Pogoy and Mikey Williams, Magnolia’s Paul Lee, Rain or Shine’s Gian Mamuyac, and SMB’s Terrence Romeo.
Aguilar, who obviously enjoyed the experience of drafting his fellow PBA stars, was happy with the way the draft turned out for his team although he admitted that he still has one issue left to be addressed.
“Very happy siguro yung kailangan na lang namin ipractice is ‘yung sa sayaw,” said Aguilar in jest. “I thought,‘yun nga, we’re just gonna go over it but ang hirap. It’s not easy.”
“Sarap sa mata,” raved Thompson, on the other hand. “Happy kami especially nakuha namin yung mga gusto namin and of course nakuha namin yung mga ayoko na bantayan,” he added.
Aside from the draft for the All-Star Game, which will be the main event of the three-day festivities from March 9 to 12 in Passi City, Iloilo, the Rookie-Sophomore-Junior event also held its draft with ROS assistant Caloy Garcia picking for the Team Stalwarts and Ginebra deputy Richard Del Rosario selecting for Team Greats.
Team Stalwarts will be bannered by first pick Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser joining a potent crew of Calvin Oftana, Joshua Munzon, Encho Serrano, Anton Asistio, Tyler Tio, Shaun Ildefonso, Matt and Mike Nieto, and Aris Dionisio.
Team Greats, on the other hand, will be led by rookies Justin Arana and Ato Ular, joining Aaron Black, Jerrick Balanza, Allyn Bulanadi, Jerrick Ahanmisi, Adrian Wong, RK ilagan, Javi Gomez de Liano, and Isaac Go.
“Unang una nagpapasalamat po ang PBA family sa mga ginugol niyong oras panahon para pumunta sa venues para bumoto, sa online. Sa mga fans po maraming salamat po sa inyo sa pagsuporta niyo sa PBA,” said Commissioner Willie Marcial.