Boracay Rum expects Chris Banchero to provide the “extra push” it needs to bag a PBA D-League title as the Waves made the Fil-Italian guard the No. 1 pick in the Rookie Draft yesterday at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City.
“I guess you can say it’s a jackpot,” said Boracay Rum coach Lawrence Chongson. “We finished third the last time, so he might be the extra push we need to get the championship.”
Chongson also expects Banchero, who starred in San Miguel Beer’s title romp in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) this year, to honor the draft despite his previous commitment with Blackwater Sports.
The Waves got the top pick after Café France and Cebuana Lhuiller relinquished their rights to choose first due to a tie-up with separate schools.
“We can’t do anything about it; we have to follow the rules,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac.
Big Chill picked Perpetual Help’s star guard Juneric Baloria next, while unheralded Cebuano Andrew Avillanoza went to Blackwater, Adamson’s Don Trollano to Cagayan Valley, Letran’s Ford Ruaya to Hog’s Breath, St. Benilde’s Mark Romero to Jumbo Plastic and Benedict Adamos to Wang’s Basketball in the first round.
OTHER NOTABLE PICKS: Raymark Belo (Boracay Rum), LA Revilla (Big Chill), Jericho Cruz (Blackwater), Philip Paredes (NLEX), Rene Saycon (Cagayan Valley), Jamil Gabawan (Hog’s Breath), Dexter Garcia (Jumbo Plastic), Raymund Alvaro (Wang’s) and Mark Anthony Lopez (M Builders).