Tautuaa, Rosario go 1-2 in 2015 PBA Draft; Ginebra lands Thomspon
Talk ‘N Text officially selected Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa as the No.1 overall pick out of 63 aspirants in the 2015 PBA Draft on Sunday at Robinson’s Place Manila.
The 6-foot-7 Tautuaa missed his Draft Day moment due to his duties with Gilas Pilipinas that just wrapped up a three-game exhibition in Estonia.
Tautuaa emerged as the biggest name in this draft class after dominating in the Asean Basketball League and the PBA D-League while playing for the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns and the Cebuana Lhuillier Gems.
The 26-year-old big man is expected to contribute for the Tropang Texters, who could’ve used Tautuaa’s legitimate inside presence last season.
Not surprisingly, National University standout Troy Rosario was the second overall pick by the Mahindra Enforcers (formerly Kia Carnival).
The 22-year-old Rosario also missed the Draft due to his commitments with the national team.
“Malaking tulong siya sa team. He can stretch the floor,” said Kia assistant Chito Victolero.
The mystery third pick was unveiled with Fil-Nigerian guard Maverick Ahanmisi going to Rain or Shine.
“The fans can expect me to bring the hard work to Rain or Shine,” Ahanmisi, who won a championship with Cafe France in the PBA D-League said.
Meralco on the other hand, went with Ateneo guard Chris Newsome as the fourth overall selection.
“i just feel blessed. It’s a dream come true and I’m really excited,” the high-leaping Newsome said.
Ginebra cheers reverberated inside the venue and the Kings didn’t disappoint with the selection of the reigning NCAA MVP Scottie Thompson as the fifth pick.
NLEX, then, chose a former Road Warrior in Garvo Lanete.
Another San Beda Red Lion followed the seasoned rookie Lanete, who has a lot of experience playing in the D-League and internationally as part of Gilas cadets, with point guard Baser Amer going to Meralco at seventh.
Amer will get a lot of wisdom from comebacking playmaker Jimmy Alapag, who is considered as one of the best players in the league.
De La Salle center Norbert Torres came next with Star, which is under new coach Jason Webb, at eighth.
“We didn’t expect him (Torres) to fall on our spot,” Webb said.
The third San Beda Red Lion in the class Art Dela Cruz wound up with Blackwater as the ninth pick.
The Road Warriors were back on the board again and they went with another Bulldog in Glenn Khobuntin as the 10th overall pick.
Letran swingman Kevin Racal was reunited with his former college coach Louie Alas at Alaska as the 11th pick.
The Elasto Painters pulled off another surprise to end the first round after picking Mapua’s Josan Nimes at 12th.
UAAP standouts in 2nd round
The first round left several notable players still up-for-grabs in the second round.
Blackwater nabbed another Green Archer in never-shy gunner Almond Vosotros before Mahindra picked San Sebastian big man Bradwyn Guinto.
In another bold move, the Painters went with former Adamson captain Don Trollano as the 15th overall pick.
After locking up Thompson, the Kings added another versatile player in University of Santo Tomas forward Aljon Mariano at 16th.
Fil-American point guard Simon Enciso went next with Rain or Shine picking him at 17th overall.
The Aces tabbed D-Leaguer Marion Magat, the lengthy forward, as the 18th overall pick.
Rain or Shine passed on its pick before Barako Bull opted for Fil-American guard Kris Rosales at 20th and Alaska chose Red Lion Jaypee Mendoza at 21st.
Former San Sebastian enforcer and D-Leaguer Michael Miranda was picked at 22nd by the Energy.
Abel Galliguez joined Racal, Mendoza and Magat in Alaska at 23rd to end the first two rounds of the draft.
Sumang, Cruz drop
Guards who stoodout in their collegiate stints also got picked in the third round.
Former University of the East Red Warrior Roi Sumang, who was a projected first round pick, slid down to the fourth round and was picked by Globalport at no. 4.
Letran Knights’ Mark Cruz, meanwhile, was tabbed at no. 8 by the Star Hotshots.
Blackwater picked Jason Melano to start the third round, Mahindra added lesser-known Leo De Vera to its draft haul while NLEX went for another former Adamson standout Jansen Rios.
UAAP forwards Yutien Andrada and Denice Villamor were drafted to Barako Bull and Ginebra at no. 5 and 6 in the third round, respectively.
San Miguel used its lone pick in the third round on big man Michael Mabulac.
San Beda’s Micole Sorela was picked at no. 9 by Talk N’ Text while Ateneo’s Nico Elorde at 11. by Alaska. Celest Flores-Colina
For the full list of the 2015 Gatorade PBA Rookie draft picks, click here.
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