FILIPINO-Tongan Moala Tautuaa and Troy Rosario, as expected, went 1-2 in Sunday’s Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Rookie Draft at Robinsons Place in Ermita, Manila.
Talk ‘N Text made the 26-year-old Tautuaa as this year’s top pick, while Rosario was selected second overall by Mahindra (formerly Kia), although the pick is rumored to be dealt to the Tropang Texters via a three-team trade.
PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa ordered a “no trading policy” during the rookie draft. Both Tautuaa and Rosario were represented by their families in the stage as they were in Estonia with the Gilas Pilipinas pool.
Rain or Shine pulled off the first shocker in the proceedings after selecting Filipino-Nigerian Maverick Ahanmisi at No. 3, a 6-foot-2 guard from the University of Minnesota.
The Elasto Painters also tabbed Mapua hotshot Josan Nimes at No. 12 to end the first round.
Meralco added a pair of explosive guard in its roster, picking ex-Ateneo combo guard Chris Newsome as its No. 4 pick and San Beda College standout Baser Amer at No. 7
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, under new mentor Tim Cone, saw reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Scottie Thompson at No. 5, giving the Kings a triple-double machine.
NLEX took two Gilas Cadets standout in Garvo Lanete (No. 6) and Glen Khobuntin (No. 10), while Star, also under a new coach in Jason Webb, opted for a big man and picked ex-La Salle center Norbert Torres at No. 8.
Blackwater, the worst performing team last season, took Red Lions forward Art de la Cruz at ninth and former Green Archers guard Almon Vosotros at No. 13, then Alaska, runner-up last year in the Philippine Cup, tabbed Letran forward Kevin Racal at No. 11, ex-Bulldogs slot Marion Magat at No. 18, ex-Red Lions forward Jaypee Mendoza at No. 20 and Fil-Am guard Abel Galliguez at No. 22.
Roi Sumang, the ex-University of the East spitfire, fell to No. 26 in the draft, taken by GlobalPort in the third round. Sumang was a projected first-round pick but fell deep in the draft.
In the second round, the Enforcers took San Sebastian center Bradwyn Guinto at No. 14, Rain or Shine had ex-Adamson gunner Celodonio Trollano Jr. at No. 15, Fil-Am guard Simon Enciso at No. 17 and passed on its No. 19 pick, while the Kings picked ex-University of Santo Tomas bruiser Aljon Mariano at No. 16.
Barako Bull finally got a pick in the second round in Kris Rosales, a 6-foot Fil-Am guard from Hope International and Stags Michael Miranda. Rosales was selected No. 19 overall, while Miranda was tabbed at No. 21.
Joining Sumang in the third round were Jason Melano (Blackwater, No. 23), Leo de Vera (Mahindra, No. 24), Jansen Rios (Road Warriors, No. 25), Yutien Andrada (Barako Bull, No. 27), Deniece Villamor (Ginebra, No. 28), Joseph Sedurifa (Meralco, No. 29), Michole Sorela (Talk ‘N Text, No. 30), Michael Mabulas (San Miguel Beer, No. 31) and Nico Elorde (Alaska, No. 32).
Image credits: Roy Domingo