Excitement- this word best describes the feeling of Filipino basketball fans, as we anticipate the 2015 PBA Draft. “Who will be the 1st overall pick? Which team will have the steal of the night? What trades will happen?” are some of the key questions brought by this momentous event. As such, what brings us to these questions is the lingering feeling of hope, wherein a single player or a combination of drafted and acquired players, can elevate a team to the next levels.
Case in point are San Miguel’s (previously Petron) draft of June Mar Fajardo, Talk N’ Text’s draft of Jimmy Alapag and Jason Castro, and Alaska’s draft of Calvin Abueva who are all considered all-stars. Another notable combination is that of J-Vee Casio and Marcio Lassiter, who brought Powerade to the PBA Finals before being disbanded.
But, enough of the past and let us continue on looking at the future. Happening on August 23, 2015 at Midtown Atrium, Robinsons Place Manila, 2015’s draft boasts a mix of local and internationally-based players from amateur and collegiate ranks. More remarkable in this year’s draft is the availability of players that can make an impact in each position.
For one, there are shoo-ins like Moala Tautuaa and Troy Rosario who can play either power-forward or center. Rosario has a refined offensive skill set with an excellent shooting stroke and post-up moves, aside from understanding when to cut. Meanwhile, Tautuaa is more of a pick and roll player and a finisher on offense, and has quick hands and feet on defense.
Alongside the names mentioned, other players to watch are big men Norbert Torres and Bradwyn Guinto. Norbert Torres has offensive post moves to help teams needing big men. Bradwyn Guinto, meanwhile, has strong potential to make it big, given his solid fundamentals, as proven by his rebounding and block numbers.
Going to the guard positions, Baser Amer, Chris Newsome, Earl Thompson, Maverick Ahanmisi, Garvo Lanete, and Roi Sumang are examples of players who can make a significant impact.
Amer displayed in the recent SEA Games that he is not only a standout on the collegiate level, but is ready for the rigors of the next level. He’s level headed and clever, and has all the tools to become a standout point guard in the PBA. Newsome is an athletic and quick player who can rebound, defend, and drive to the basket – not to mention being able to play in a variety of positions as well. Thompson can drive to the basket and shoot the three-ball; while based on his 10 rebounds average in NCAA Season 90, is also an excellent rebounder, and a stats machine. Another all-around player is Ahanmisi who sees the floor well, can score in various ways, and plays good help defense. Alongside that, there is Lanete who can penetrate and shoot from outside. Speaking of offensive magicians, Roi Sumang is a collegiate superstar who has an arsenal comparative to PBA-star Paul Lee.
Let us not also forget talents such as Aljon Mariano, Keith Agovida, and Art Dela Cruz, among others, who each could contribute based on unique skill sets.
The future is surely bright in the big league, and with the wide range of talent in the upcoming draft, no wonder excitement is around us.