KIA drafts Pacquiao, GlobalPort gets Pringle as top pick
MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao made history on Sunday when he became the oldest, shortest and first dual athlete in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) when KIA Motors used its 11th pick to secure the fighting congressman, who will also serve as the team's head coach.
The eight-division champion, however, wasn't around during the draft proceedings that was held at the Atrium of Robinsons Place Manila.
Eric Pineda, KIA's team manager and one of Pacquiao's business advisers, said the boxer is preparing for his multi-city press tour for his bout against Chris Algieri.
"Nagumpisa na ang kanyang preparation para sa tour. Ako naman bumalik ako dito to oversee the draft," explained Pineda.
Incidentally, KIA Motors also selected Pacquiao's nephew, Rene, during the third round of the draft proceedings.
As expected, GlobalPort Batang Pier went for Filipino-American Stanley Pringle as the Penn State product became the first overall pick in the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft.
GlobalPort is counting on the bearded 27-year-old, who has had various stints abroad including in the ASEAN Basketball League, to turn its fortunes around in the 40th PBA season.
Rain or Shine used its second draft pick it acquired from Meraclo to secure Letran Kevin Alas, who is expected to fill the gap should Paul Lee pursue his plans to be traded to another team.
The high-scoring Letran guard has played in the PBA D-League and recently trained with Gilas Pilipinas.
Alas said he is pleased to have made it to the PBA, fulfilling the dreams of his father, coach Louie Alas.
"Nung time niya may chance siya pero hindi siya nakatuloy sa PBA," said the former Knight. "Masaya ako na matutupad ko ang dream na na mag-PBA. Ngayon nandito na matutuloy ko."
Straight shooter Ronald Pascual turned out to be the third pick as he went to San Miguel Beer, while fourth pick Matt Rosser-Granuelas went to the same team team he played for in the D-League -- now PBA expansion squad NLEX.
Alaska then went for Filipino-American Chris Banchero, who became the fifth draft pick. The Seattle native said he's excited to show his wares for the Aces.
"It's a really good franchise they won a few championships and they get into the payoffs evey single conference. so i'm excited to play for them," the 5-foot-11 guard said.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel went for Rodney Brondial (sixth), formerly of the Adamson Falcons, then GlobalPort secured one of the Semerad brothers, Anthony, for the seventh pick.
Barako Bull used its eighth and 10th picks to secure Jake Pacual and David Semerad, while Rain or Shine took ninth pick Jericho Cruz.
The first round ended with Blackwater Sport going for Ateneo's Juami Tiongson as the 12th pick.
Since there were still a lot of talents left, the PBA teams had a field day selecting more quality players in the second round:
Second round picks
1. Alaska Aces - Rome dela Rosa
2. Rain or Shine - Kevin Espinosa
3. Barako Bull - Philip Paredes
5. Alaska Aces - Jun Alas
5.GlobalPort - Prince Caperal
6. Barako Bull - Philip Morrison
7. GlobalPort - Jan Pinto
8. Talk 'N Text - Harold Arboleda
9. ROS - Michael Gamboa
10. Barako Bull - Gab Banal
11. Backwater Sports - Frank Golla
12. KIA Motors - Kyle Pascual