I am going to use this as a basis as to how each team would behave in the draft.
From the looks of things, you can see which team needs it more. I can smell draft-day trades (or after-draft, if the PBA is going to be weird about this) due to the injuries of Poy Erram, Jeremiah Gray, Kevin Ferrer, and Will Navarro as well as the void left by Matthew Wright (still) and Robert Bolick.
Terrafirma is telling everyone that they are going to snub Stephen Holt?
If they are going to be stingy on their import and all of a sudden, we get Lester Prosper instead of Jordan Williams, then I don’t see their chances improving. I don’t mean to mess on Prosper but he tried it last season and despite his dominance, he can’t help that team and their “abundance” of talent.
Anyway, here are their Top 6 players and the team baggage that they need to check out with the 2023 PBA Draft just mere moments away.
BARANGAY GINEBRA KINGS
CHRISTIAN STANDHARDINGER 15.3 | JAMIE MALONZO 15.1 | SCOTTIE THOMPSON 13.9
JAPETH AGUILAR 11.2 | STANLEY PRINGLE 8.2 | LA TENORIO 7.8
Jamie Malonzo started the 2022-23 PBA season playing for Northport, Jeremiah Gray is recovering from a knee injury, and LA Tenorio is undergoing treatment while slowly transitioning to a bench role (he is already an assistant coach in Letran). Von Pessumal was the other key acquisition last season.
ATO ULAR 11.2 | BASER AMER 10.9 | JVEE CASIO 10.9
TROY ROSARIO 10.4 | RK ILAGAN 8.5 | RASHAWN MCCARTHY 7.2
Ato Ular was a rookie at this point and Troy Rosario and RK Ilagan started the 2022-23 PBA season playing in other teams (TNT for Rosario and Converge for Ilagan). Aside from Rosario and Ilagan, Blackwater also acquired Mike DiGregorio and Tyrus Hill from Converge and Gab Banal from TNT.
MAVERICK AHANMISI 13.7 | JERON TENG 12.9 | JUSTIN ARANA 9.9
ALJUN MELECIO 9.0 | ABU TRATTER 7.6 | ALEC STOCKTON 6.5
Justin Arana was a rookie at this point and Aljun Melecio started the 2022-23 PBA season playing for Phoenix. Abu Tratter was traded to Magnolia during the offseason while Maverick Ahanmisi as of this writing, has yet to sign a new contract. Other midseason acquisitions from last season include Jerrick Balanza from Northport, Barkley Ebona from Blackwater, Bradwyn Guinto from Rain or Shine, Kris Porter from Phoenix (although he never played for the squad), and the one-game return of Danny Ildefonso.
PAUL LEE 14.8 | IAN SANGALANG 12.9 | CALVIN ABUEVA 12.5
MARK BARROCA 12.0 | JIO JALALON 11.1 | ARIS DIONISIO 6.3
A team known to care less about the draft because they acquired established veterans, Magnolia just acquired Abu Tratter from Converge. The Hotshots also had an almost-intact lineup from last season with Keith Zaldivar joining Adrian Wong in Converge as an unrestricted free agent.
CHRIS NEWSOME 14.9 | AARON BLACK 14.6 | ALLEIN MALIKSI 12.5
BONG QUINTO 9.5 | CLIFF HODGE 8.5 | RAYMOND ALMAZAN 8.2
Meralco just appointed former Alaska champion mentor Luigi Trillo as their new head coach with Norman Black taking on the role as team consultant. This move could matter because Newsome and Black, aside from the latter’s surname, are Ateneans from Black’s old coaching job. Trillo is also a La Salle alum and ironically, his first offseason move was acquiring fellow alum Norbert Torres for Mac Belo.
NORTHPORT BATANG PIER
ROBERT BOLICK 20.5 | ARVIN TOLENTINO 14.5 | WILL NAVARRO 14.3
JOSHUA MUNZON 9.8 | ARWIND SANTOS 9.6 | ROI SUMANG 8.8
Northport transformed drastically in the team’s last two seasons leading to the 2023 PBA Draft. For starters, only one player in their Top 6 scorers was playing for the squad during their season debut and Arwind Santos was also a midseason acquisition in the 2021-22 PBA season. Arvin Tolentino, Jeff Chan, Kent Salado, and Prince Caperal came from Ginebra during the Philippine Cup and they added Joshua Munzon and Christian Balagasay from Terrafirma as well as Paul Zamar from San Miguel. Robert Bolick has since signed a two-season contract with the Japan B. League’s Fukushima Firebonds (Division 2) while Roi Sumang has signed with the MPBL’s Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards.
PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS
JASON PERKINS 15.2 | MATTHEW WRIGHT 15.0 | TYLER TIO 11.7
JAVEE MOCON 11.6 | ENCHO SERRANO 10.3 | RJ JAZUL 9.2
Here’s another team that took a hit in free agency and had a big personnel overhaul during the mid part of the 2022-23 PBA season. Jason Perkins missed most of the Commissioner’s Cup due to injury but Matthew Wright left much earlier as he has signed with the Japan B. League’s Kyoto Hannaryz. To combat their lack of bench depth, Phoenix acquired Ben Adamos and Kurt Lojera from Converge, JJ Alejandro and Raul Soyud from TNT, and Jollo Go from Blackwater. Encho Serrano, a rookie alongside Tyler Tio, chose to sign with the MPBL’s Pampanga Giant Lanterns with Lojera also leaving the team to sign with the PSL’s Siomai King.
RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS
REY NAMBATAC 13.4 | SANTI SANTILLAN 10.5 | GIAN MAMUYAC 9.7
MIKE NIETO 8.7 | BEAU BELGA 8.0 | ANTON ASISTIO 7.9
Gian Mamuyac was a rookie at this point. Also, Yeng Guiao is known for his no-superstar policy with four other players that season averaging five points and more. ROS also acquired erstwhile disgruntled forward Mac Belo from Meralco for Norbert Torres. It’s also noteworthy that Nambatac, Santillan, Mamuyac, Nieto, Asistio, Andrei Caracut, and Shaun Ildefonso are still in their 20s with Belo turning 30 a couple of months ago.
SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN
CJ PEREZ 18.8 | JUNE MAR FAJARDO 17.7 | MARCIO LASSITER 11.9
JERICHO CRUZ 11.3 | TERRENCE ROMEO 11.1 | VIC MANUEL 9.8
The San Miguel Beermen is another team that looks for ways to improve their team by switching assets with veteran players. Sometimes, these acquisitions are top-tier finds as their roster changes have sparked controversy over the years. With that said, San Miguel has regressed on their power grabs last season with Allyn Bulanadi as the only midseason move they made (the trade also involved Paul Zamar and Jerrick Balanza.)
JUAMI TIONGSON 18.1 | ERIC CAMSON 10.0 | KEVIN FERRER 8.5
ALEX CABAGNOT 8.0 | ALDRECH RAMOS 7.2 | ANDREAS CAHILIG 6.2
Yes, Terrafirma had career-scoring seasons from Juami Tiongson and Eric Camson but if they want to get out of the cellar, they need more than what they have in their roster. Furthermore, Kevin Ferrer is still nursing an ACL injury during the PBA On Tour. At least aside from their horde of picks, they can use this season as a way to promote the growth of Isaac Go and Javi Gomez de Liano.
TNT TROPANG GIGA
MIKEY WILLIAMS 18.4 | RR POGOY 18.3 | CALVIN OFTANA 13.6
JAYSON CASTRO 12.4 | JP ERRAM 9.2 | JUSTIN CHUA 7.8
The re-signing of Mikey Williams and the acquisition of Calvin Oftana as well as Justin Chua and Paul Varilla from the NLEX Road Warriors strengthen a somewhat iffy TNT lineup. While they were able to win their first PBA Governors’ Cup, this team has been one of their weakest in years - as they combine an aging core with a slew of inexperienced vets. Moreover, JP Erram and Justin Chua are in the doghouse due to various injuries.