MANILA, Philippines—MANILA, Philippines—Looking to be competitive when the new PBA season rolls around, Blackwater and Converge went after the most towering and athletic players in this year’s Rookie Draft.
The Bossing, hoping to build on a lone victory in a disastrous season, used their first overall pick on Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser in the annual selection at Robinson’s Place Manila in Ermita.
Terrafirma made a gamble on Jeremiah Gray with its No. 2 pick, who is currently nursing a knee injury. But when healthy, the Fil-foreign is easily one of the most athletic in the bunch, as proven by his stints with TNT in the 3×3 circuit.
Converge went for the two tallest locals in the pool, picking Jeo Ambohot and Justin Arana third and fourth, respectively. Both should come in handy for the FiberXers, who are looking to build around the eight remnants of the disbanded Alaska Aces.
Rain or Shine added to its arsenal of seasoned Ateneo standouts by drafting versatile guard Gian Mamuyac fifth overall. The Painters also got wide-bodied swingman Shaun Ildefonso at No. 10.
NorthPort tabbed San Sebastian ace JM Calma at No. 6. NLEX went also went for a Fil-foreigner in Tyrus Hill.
Crowd darling Barangay Ginebra secured Javi Gomez de Liaño at No. 8, as Magnolia rounded out the first round burning its 12th pick on stretch big Keith Zaldivar.
Blackwater actually had fourth picks in the first round. The Bossing picked La Salle guard Kurt Lojera ninth and then Mark Dyke 11th overall injecting youth and athleticism into its roster.
Earlier, Arana, Mamuyac, Gomez de Liaño, and Ildefonso were named by national coach Chot Reyes as Gilas’ latest additions to its talent pool. The four prospects will be made readily available for the cage program by way of a landmark agreement between the PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
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