MANILA — The Converge FiberXers got a solid draftee with their ninth overall pick -- former La Salle star Schonny Winston.
Equipped with two selections in the first round of yesterday’s 2023 PBA Rookie Draft, Converge was able to snag the former De La Salle Universitystar late in the first round despite Winston going higher in the pre-draft projections.
But this didn’t matter for the 6-foot-4 scorer as his focus was on getting his name called in the talent-laden 2023 draft class.
“I was super excited to be drafted and get my name called, so I’m very thankful that I got this opportunity to be out here,” said Winston, who was once the favorite to win the UAAP Season 85 MVP award after then putting up 21.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 3.0 steals in that year’s first round right before his injuries.
The Filipino-American hooper also expressed how grateful he is to be able to don Converge’s purple kits.
“I was drafted where I was drafted, and I’m thankful for it. The team that wants me is the team that has me, so I can’t be mad at that,” he said.
“I’m happy that they drafted me, and I’m ready to go compete for them.”
Among the rookies that are joining him in the FiberXers’ roster is former Ateneo Blue Eagle BJ Andrade, and Winston is glad to now have the 10th overall pick by his side in the Aldin Ayo-led team.
“BJ was once one of our rivals at Ateneo, and now he’s a teammate of mine so it will be fun,” said Winston.
As for the injuries that abruptly derailed his stellar season in the UAAP, Winston revealed that he is good to go and he cannot wait to finally lace up his kicks in the PBA to help Converge rise among the top squads in the league
“I went back to the States to finish my rehab, and then after finishing my rehab, just getting my body back up to shape,” he said.
“I’m no longer hurt. I’m ready to compete.”
Aside from the UAAP alumni, Bryan Santos, JL Delos Santos, Inand Fornillos, King Caralipio, Rhinwil Yambing, Kamron Vigan, Raymond Binuya, MJ Garcia, Andee Flores, and Jonathan del Rosario will also have the opportunity to lock horns for a roster spot right before the PBA season starts on November 5th.