MANILA, Philippines – Some PBA coaches believe that there are UAAP guards – including two from Far Easter University (FEU) – who can potentially become high picks in the upcoming Rookie Draft next month.
The upcoming draft is among the deepest in recent memory, with big men Greg Slaughter, Ian Sangalang and Raymond Almazan all expected to go early.
Guards such as FEU’s RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo – who gave up his final year of eligibility with Tamaraws – along with University of Santo Tomas (UST) star Jeric Teng, can also be high draft picks.
“Romeo could be a top three pick,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone in an interview with Joaquin Henson of The Philippine Star. “I realize there are a lot of big guys in the draft, but you remember in 2004, James Yap was the second overall pick.”
“We’ve got a lot of big guys round, but I think it’s possible that Romeo might go early,” he added.
Barako Bull coach Rajko Toroman told Henson that Slaughter, Sangalang and Almazan are likely the top three picks, but stressed that Romeo and Garcia – both UAAP MVPs – should not be overlooked.
“They’ve proven themselves in the UAAP,” Toroman said, while also hyping up UST’s Teng.
“I think Jeric will go early. He got a lot of positive mileage in the last UAAP season, and played very well for UST,” he added.
Toroman is also high on James Forrester of Arellano University, saying he is “strong, has a good body, and can play.”
“Our choices will depend on who is available after the first three picks are made,” said Toroman of Barako Bull, who owns the fifth, sixth and seventh picks in the draft. “We’ve got a chance to build our team with draft picks, and I’m looking forward to recruiting outstanding young talent.”
There are 85 applicants for the 2013 Rookie Draft, which will see Ginebra picking first, followed by San Mig Coffee and Rain or Shine. Barako owns the next three picks, followed by GlobalPort, Alaska, Rain or Shine, and then San Mig Coffee.
“Kumpletos rekados 'yang pool na 'yan,” Blackwater Sports Leo Isaac said of this year’s pool of draft applicants. “May big man, may magagaling na maliit, tapos may talent ang wing.”
“This is going to be one of those (drafts) that will be remembered for a long time. Maraming sisikat sa grupo na ito,” he said.