Ronald Pascual (center) with his San Miguel Beer family. Photo by Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Beer pulled the first surprise of the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft when they acquired the third pick and used it to select former San Sebastian Stag Ronald Pascual on Sunday.
The selection of the high-flying Pascual raised questions, especially with Chris Banchero still available.
New SMB head coach Leo Austria had a ready explanation for their pick, however, telling reporters that Pascual is a great fit for the Beermen.
"Kung titingnan niyo ang team namin, ang nawawala sa amin ay position number three (small forward)," Austria explained. "Si (Chris) Lutz ay nag-iisa sa number three, at kailangan niya ng back-up na may tira sa labas."
"Swak na swak 'yun kay Ronald," he pointed out.
Austria also noted that Pascual was a winner. "Halos lahat ng team na napuntahan niya, nag-champion sila," the former Adamson mentor said, while also lauding Pascual's athleticism and leaping ability.
Austria also said Pascual is assured of some playing time, but it is up to the player if he will earn more.
"Ang kapalitan niya ay si Chris Lutz. It will depend sa performance niya kung mae-extrend niya 'yung playing time. Definitely, mabibigyan ko siya ng time," said the coach.