Petron going for Fajardo, taps RacelaBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
PETRON will take the Philippine Basketball Association spotlight today by landing a prized 6-foot-10 behemoth and announcing a new coach.
When the league holds its annual rookie draft at Midtown Robinson’s Place in Manila, Petron is expected to snag Cebuano stalwart June Mar Fajardo and name Olsen Racela as replacement for Ato Agustin.
Sources said Racela, the former San Miguel point guard and now coach of Energen PH Youth, has been tapped to mentor the Boosters, although he refused to make any statement until after the Fiba-Asia under-18 which is going on in Mongolia.
But the same sources said he and former Gilas coach Rajko Toroman were the last two candidates for the coaching job.
Petron is expected to use its right to pick first on Fajardo, an agile big guy who can play different positions. The Boosters also own the No. 3 pick, following Alaska which picks second.
Meralco takes its turn at the pool at No. 4, followed by Barako Red Bull. The ceremony starts at 4 p.m.
The event will also coincide with the unveiling of new franchise Global Port Batang Pier by sportsman Mikee Romero. His Sultan Capital 800 Inc., formally took over the franchise from Coca-Cola Bottlers in a deal approved by the PBA board last Friday.
Batang Pier will pick No. 10 with Glen Capacio as interim head coach.
Ginebra will choose 6th and 8th, newly crowned Rain or Shine 7th, and B-Meg 9th.
There are 71 rookie applicants this year which has been further reduced to 57 last Thursday.
Included in the pool are reigning NCAA MVP Calvin Abueva, former Smart Gilas team captain Chris Tiu, Aldrech Ramos, Vic Manuel, Dave Marcelo, Jewel Ponferada, Eman Monfort, Jan Colina, Lester Alvarez, Janus Lozada, Jerick Canada, and Fil-Ams Cliff Hodge, Chris Ellis, Jason Deutchman, Charles Keith Jansen and Alex Mallari.
Air 21 will pick first in the second round, B-Meg, Global Port, Barako, Rain or Shine, Barako, Alaska and Talk ‘N Text.