The 2015 PBA draft has come and passed and excitement instantly filled the air for fans of the oldest pay-for-play league in Asia.
The same can be said about the Meralco Bolts who selected three new faces for the 41st season of the PBA.
The Bolts managed to snag Ateneo’s Chris Newsome as their fourth pick overall, San Beda guard Baser Amer as their 7th overall pick and little-known shooter Joseph Sedurifa as their 31st pick.
Let’s take a closer look at the team’s selections.
Newsome is probably one of the most athletic players in the draft. He’ll be joining Meralco’s vast squad full of athletic wings and forwards like Jared Dillinger, Cliff Hodge and Sean Anthony. A no-nonsense worker, Newsome turned heads when he starred for the Blue Eagles, providing firepower alongside Kiefer Ravena in his stint with Ateneo.
Though he never won a title in the UAAP, he was a part of the championship squad of the Hapee Fresh Fighters in the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
Though some say there are still aspects of his game to work on, like in decision making and a consistent outside jumper, many feel like Newsome is already ripe for the pros. His athleticism and attack-minded approach makes him a valuable addition to the Bolts, who are looking to develop a game predicated upon more running and a quicker tempo.
If Newsome truly develops that jumper, the Bolts may just have drafted a bonafide star in the making.
Amer, on the other hand, is known for two things – winning and leadership.
The soft-spoken guard out of Davao has already won four titles with the San Beda Red Lions, and three titles in the PBA D-League (two for NLEX and one for Hapee). He’ll also be familiar with Newsome, given that they were teammates for two conferences with the Hapee Fresh Fighters.
Amer is considered the smartest among the draft applicants, with a basketball IQ far beyond his age. Known for his cool demeanor on the court, he can take over games through his sheer decision making and playmaking alone.
When you need a big shot, Amer is more than happy to oblige, evident in his past games both in the D-League and in the NCAA, where he routinely took over and won games for his squad.
With Jimmy Alapag joining the squad during the offseason, expect Amer’s transition to be smoother than ever, as he’ll be mentored by one of the best to ever play the point guard position in the PBA’s history.
The final question is, who is Joseph Sedurifa? Sedurifa was the star of the fabled Centro Escolar University squad in the NAASCU, winning the Most Valuable Player award back in 2013.
A streak shooter and an able defender, Sedurifa translated his game into D-League success as he became one of the vital members of the Aspirants’ Cup champions CafeFrance – the same team which broke the hearts of Amer and Newsome, who were targeting a season double in that year.
Though his name isn’t as hot as other wings, Sedurifa can hurt you in many ways. Known mostly for his shooting, Sedurifa has recently shown massive improvement when it comes to beating his opponents off the dribble and going hard to the rim.
So there you have it. Though these players come from different backgrounds, leagues and squads, these are the players that could very well shape what lies ahead for the franchise.
Judging from how the PBA Draft turned out, the future looks bright for the Meralco Bolts!