CJ at No. 1?
Blackwater still needs a solid point guard to become a legitimate contender, coach Bong Ramos believes, but the Elite would likely not get the chance to sign up the man that they need when the 2019 PBA Rookie Draft unfolds Sunday at Robinson’s Place Ermita.
For a good reason.
“There’s no way we are going to pass up on Ray-Ray Parks,” Ramos told the Inquirer over the phone on the eve of the rookie proceedings as the son of a seven-time Best Import winner, the late great Bobby Parks, would most likely land in the lap of the Elite as the second overall pick.
Columbian owns the top overall selection, and Ramos believes that the Dyip will go for former NCAA standout CJ Perez, leaving his team with the talented Parks at No. 2.
Robert Bolick, the former King Lion with San Beda in the NCAA, can be converted into a playmaker like he was at times in the NCAA, but Ramos said that he would definitely go for the 6-foot-2 Parks and give Roi Sumang the chance to blossom at the point.
NorthPort owns the third overall pick and could use Bolick to give Stanley Pringle some relief at the point and give Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized player all the room to score starting next season and leave ball distribution to someone else.
Blackwater has come close to winning a playoff series for the first time and the addition of Parks—or Perez if Columbian changes its mind—will make the Elite contenders starting next season.
“That’s because we have a lot of versatile players in the team, medium-sized players who can easily switch in the 2, 3 and 4 positions,” Ramos said, referring to Mac Belo, Allein Maliksi, among others. “And Nards (Pinto) is also coming along fine [at the point].”
“Parks is the most seasoned candidate [in the pool],” he said. “He brings a lot of experience to the team and he will become one of the main swingmen in the team and will give us a lot more options.”
“Throughout the years, I’ve been preparing myself playing in professional leagues,” Parks had told pba.ph. “I think I’ll fit in and I am excited to see where I’m going, excited to see which teams wants me.”
Columbian, meanwhile, will be coming off another season to forget and will have an impact player if the Dyip decide to tab Perez, the hard-nosed former Lyceum Pirate who plays in the mold of a Calvin Abueva.
Phoenix Petroleum dealt away the fourth overall pick to acquire Alex Mallari and Dave Marcelo from NLEX, with the Road Warriors to shoot for youth in the deal.
That will be the first of two selections the Road Warriors will have in the first round as they will also pick seventh.
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