Petron wants FajardoBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MACAU—The Philippine Basketball Association’s leadership touched down on this Asian gambling Mecca Friday afternoon and, before buckling down to work, members of the board got the time to think about the coming Rookie Draft and their team’s prospective picks.
Petron Blaze will definitely make prodigious 6-foot-9 Cebuano Jun Mar Fajardo as the first overall choice in the Aug. 19 proceedings set at the Robinson’s Midland in Manila, and the rest of the field will then be left scrambling for the best available talents left in the deep pool.
Alaska picks second and the Aces, according to assistant team manager Richard Bachmann, is torn on selecting either San Sebastian ace Calvin Abueva or Cliff Hodge as their selection will depend on what the board approves will be the height limits for imports in two of the three conferences.
Meanwhile, the board and the Commissioner’s Office gave the nod for a charity game being organized by Meralco slotman Asi Taulava which would benefit victims of the flooding in Metro Manila.
The match will be held on Aug. 26 at Ynares Arena in Pasig after Rizal governor Jun Ynares waived charges for the use of the venue. The Commissioner’s Office will also provide referees and table officials for free.
Petron has the third overall choice and its selection would depend on who Alaska picks. The Boosters are also keen on Abueva and Hodge, two hard-working power forwards that can immediately make an impact in the pro league.
Robert Non of Barangay Ginebra will be named chair for the next season, set to blast off with the Philippine Cup on Sept. 30, and he takes over from Rain or Shine’s Mamerto Mondragon.
The league established an all-time high in gate receipts with a take of over P110 million, easily eclipsing last year’s record of P91 million.
And Non, in a chat before departing in Manila, said that he is confident of surpassing that mark because he feels that there are still untapped avenues for the PBA as far as revenues are concerned.
The fate of Mikee Romero’s Sultan 900 will also be decided upon by the board late Friday, with Romero’s group needing at least two-thirds vote to be able to become the league’s newest member vice Coca-Cola/Powerade.
Romero bought the Coca-Cola franchise at an undisclosed amount recently, and if admitted, would fulfill his lifelong dream of being able to own a professional basketball franchise.