No surprises as Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser goes to Blackwater Bossing
Blackwater and Converge were easily the big winners in the Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) Rookie Draft on Sunday night.
Both clubs, however, understand that reeling in talent is just one of the many steps in a steep trek toward becoming competitive.
“I just wish that we don’t get bit by the injury bug early, just like in the last Governors’ Cup,” Bossing coach Ariel Vanguardia said shortly after the proceedings at Robinson’s Place Manila in Ermita.
When asked if his charges improve from its lone win in a disastrous campaign last season, he was quick to say “definitely.”
Blackwater selected Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser first overall, and the versatile, 6-foot-7 forward, hardened by international play and 3×3 competition, is seen as a big help to the club which exercised its other two first-round picks in high-leaping guard Kurt Lojera (ninth) and Mark Dyke (11th) along with Ato Ular, the first pick of the second round.
For coach Jeff Cariaso, picking Jeo Ambohot third and then Justin Arana fourth overall allows the Fiber Xers to expedite its rebuild from the ashes of the disbanded Alaska Aces.
“I think we were able to get two of the top four big guys in this draft. So we’re very fortunate with that,” Cariaso said. “[These] guys are not only going to inspire us but also help our team right away.”
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine added to its arsenal seasoned Ateneo standouts by drafting versatile guard Gian Mamuyac fifth overall. The Painters also secured wide-bodied swingman Shaun Ildefonso at No. 10.
NorthPort tabbed San Sebastian ace JM Calma at No. 6. NLEX also went for a Fil-foreigner in Tyrus Hill with the seventh pick.
Crowd darling Barangay Ginebra, meanwhile secured Javi Gomez de Liaño at No. 8, as Magnolia rounded out the first round by tabbing stretch big Keith Zaldivar.
Earlier, Arana, Mamuyac, Gomez de Liaño, and Ildefonso were named by national coach Chot Reyes as Gilas’ latest additions to its talent pool.
The new PBA season is set to unfurl on June 5, and barring any hitches, will play three conferences. INQ
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