By REYNALD MAGALLON
Highly-touted Fil-American guard Stephen Holt is not a lock as the top pick for Terrafirma as head coach Johnedel Cardel is still looking for a young and agile big men to plug the hole in the middle for his team.
Cardel was even looking forward at seeing the potential of top big men prospects in Keith Datu and Brandon Bates during the two-day draft combine but he was not able to see it as the two skipped the proceedings due to valid excuses
Holt, a 31-year-old, 6-foot-4 guard who already had stints in various parts of Europe, Australia and NBA G-League, seemed to be the best available talent in the deep draft class and the presumptive top overall pick based on mock drafts from observers and pundits.
Cardel, however, is hoping to get a hand on young quality big men in his two picks – first and 12th pick – in the first round.
“We are looking for a big man kung pwede dalawa makuha na big man, kukuha kami ng dalawa dito. But some other guys naman na unknown players, nakita ko rin naman so mag meeting kami nila boss bob this friday to decide kung sino talaga yung kukunin namin,” said Cardel who was on the sidelines on the second day of draft combine at the Gatorade Hoops Center on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
“Talented guy, age 31, 32 talagang ready to play na but for us dapat medyo bata pa like yung sila Bates nga diba. Sina (Ken) Tuffin pwede mag ano sa team namin para lumalim yung bench namin,” he added.
Although nothing is cast in stone yet, Cardel admitted that it would be a much easier decision if he manages to see how the potential top picks play.
Just like Datu and Bates, Holts also skipped the combine to attend to his wife who had recently given birth.
Aside from them, guys like Luis Villegas and Zav Lucero didn’t play as well as they are still recovering from respective injuries.
“Iba pa rin talaga kasi pag nakikita mo dito sa 5-on-5 kasi si Datu nakikita ko sa 3×3 pati si Bates gusto ko nga kasi makita rito kaya lang di sila naglaro,” rued Cardel.