Thiele: Biggest steal from the rookie row | Inquirer Sports

Thiele: Biggest steal from the rookie row

01:18 AM October 24, 2010

LISTLESS and sluggish during  the week-long  pre-season PBA  rookie camp last August, 6-foot-4 Filipino-Nigerian Hans Thiele didn’t merit a second look from the coaches in attendance.
Thus, when draft day came, the 25-year-old former cager from the University of the East had no takers. When the two-round drafting process was over, he sat there with the other undrafted rookies,  stunned, and unable to comprehend why his name was not called.
“I began to doubt myself,” Hans said. “I started to wonder if I was cut out to be a basketball player. I had always wanted to be a pilot, but fate had led me to the hardcourt. It wasn’t too late, though, to change my career path.”
Hans felt so bad in the next two days that he locked himself in his room, wallowing in self-pity.
Then he got an invitation to try out with Barako Bull. Still he hesitated.
“I began to doubt if I was good enough for the PBA. I kept asking myself, ‘Kaya ko kaya?’”
Barako Bull had a lone draftee in San Beda point guard Borgie Hermida.
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“I saw his raw talent,” said Barako Bull head coach Junel Baculi, who needed a power forward like Thiele.
“I expected him to be good, but he now exceeds expectations.”
Baculi said Thiele now plays a lot better than when he saw action in the rookie camp.
According to the coaching staff, Thiele’s transformation is amazing. He turned out to be very aggressive, very hardworking, and relentless off the boards.
“He is a rebounding wonder and he  has great attitude. He follows orders,” Junel said.
I did a little research on the Barako rookie and found that he has been logging double-double figures, so far.
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“He is Barako’s top rebounder, averaging 11 per game. He also has the highest field-goal accuracy in the league among players with at least 10 points made,” said PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon.
According to Mangonon, Thiele’s stats are better than those of Air21’s Noy Baclao, the season’s top draft pick.
Thiele’s numbers are closer to those of  second overall draft pick Rabeh Al-Hussaini, added Mangonon, who provided us with the trio’s comparative statistics:
Thiele averages 11 points per game with a 62 percent field-goal accuracy, 11 rebounds, and two assists in 30 minutes of playing time.
Rabeh, on the other hand, averages  13.3 ppg with a 32-percent field-goal accuracy—half of Thiele’s field goal percentage, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game in 33 minutes played.
Baclao averages 6 ppg with 63-percent field-goal percentage, 9.0 rpg, 2.5 bpg, and 1.5 apg in 27 minutes played.
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I’m not sure if Thiele is aware of his numbers, and how they compare to those of the league’s top rookie picks, but he is grateful of the break he got and has vowed to make the best of it.
“Hindi ko na pakakawalan ito [I will not put my efforts to waste],” I heard him say during a television interview.
Workhorse, high leaper, accurate perimeter shooter, good shotblocker,  unafraid to mix it up with the big guys, has a knack for the ball—this about  sums up the undrafted Barako Bull rookie named Hans Thiele.
He may turn out to be the biggest steal outside of the draft.

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TAGS: Barako Bull, Basketball, Hans Thiele, PBA, Rookies

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