A couple of days ago, I made a JPEG of the names I expected to be called in the first and second rounds of the 2022 PBA Draft (or Season 47 Draft for those who want to be technical about it).
Sadly, I made a lot of errors.
So I revisited the list and ironed out a few kinks.
1 | BLACKWATER – SEDRICK BAREFIELD
I initially thought that Blackwater would want a guy like Justine Baltazar or Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser running their show. The Bossings are in dire need of a superstar mold and Baltazar fits that build. Also, remember Blackwater’s bad track record with number two picks? With that said, I think Sedrick Barefield is the right player for the franchise because, for a team in need of an import, this guy is an actual import. He’s probably going to play the SG/SF spots and that would mess up the playing times of Rashawn McCarthy (10.6ppg), Rey Suerte (10.2ppg), and Paul Desiderio (5.7ppg) but as it stands, McCarthy is the only local to average in double digits this season that has played in more than ten games (so this excludes Kelly Nabong and Rey Suerte). Furthermore, it’s not like he’s going to be like what Maurice Shaw turned into. Yes, Barefield could leave the team like how Bobby Ray Parks left, but that’s because their management team sucks (although I must admit, their current situation isn’t as bleak).
2 | TERRAFIRMA – JUSTINE BALTAZAR
With Barefield gone, Terrafirma needs to get the best talent available. Baltazar is the best option at this point and it also works for them in the size department. While there’s a chance that Baltazar would turn into a combo forward, this is still a massive up for Team Dyip. The team has already locked the combo of Juami Tiongson (16.4ppg) and Joshua Munzon (16.6ppg) in their backcourt and while Alex Cabagnot’s recovery is up in the air (10.5ppg), they still need to fill up the void left by Roosevelt Adams and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser. And yeah, MGR is also one reason why Terrafirma needs to pick Baltazar, Barefield, or even Justin Arana than Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser. And if they decide to select Barefield, they are going to be guard-heavy but at least they still have a big man project in Isaac Go.
3 | CONVERGE – BRANDON GANUELAS-ROSSER
4 | CONVERGE – JAVI GOMEZ DE LIANO
The high-low formula solves a lot of Converge’s issues. The former Alaska team has size... but their size isn’t as intimidating. The same can also be said with their point guard. Last season, Abu Tratter (10.8ppg) and Jeron Teng (10.7ppg) are the only players in double figures. Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser is a combo forward with depth that could help the FiberXers inside. Javi Gomez de Liano may lean towards being a shooting guard but it’s not like he can’t learn proper playmaking in Jeffrey Cariaso’s system. Also, Converge also needs to sell its brand, and what better way to do it than have Jeron Teng and Gomez de Liano act cute and all in a bunch of billboards, tarps, and leaderboards ads, and even other below-the-line marketing strategies. While I would like Converge to select either Justin Arana or Jeo Ambohot, I don’t know what they are going to do with Ben Adamos. Is he a lost cause? Or if he’s a project on the verge of deployment come next season, are they willing to acquire another NCAA big man project?
5 | RAIN OR SHINE – JUSTIN ARANA
At this point, it’s either Justin Arana or Jeo Ambohot. But I am choosing the Arellano Chief over the Letran Knight because of Arana’s better numbers. Ambohot’s numbers had a cap with Rhenz Abando and the rest of the Letran Knights leading the league in sheer domination. Arana by his lonesome is a 23-year-old double-double magnet that could be a sleeper for this year’s Top Rookie Award. The Elasto Painters, with Javee Mocon and Rey Nambatac, has quite a collection of NCAA top dogs and Arana is no different. And while they might also select Jeremiah Gray as a direct sub to the awesomeness of Gabe Norwood, his injury could be a red flag for the talent-searching Elasto Painters.
6 | NORTHPORT – JEO AMBOHOT
So Northport has this group of coaches led by Pido Jarencio and Bonnie Tan who help each other as far as creating battle plans for each other. With that said, this makes Jeo Ambohot a great choice for the Batang Pier. Ambohot is another name that could be part of NCAA 97’s Mythical Team. Also, there is uncertainty between Northport and disgruntled big man Greg Slaughter. Letran is at its peak at the moment and this could be an awesome reward by Tan to Ambohot especially if he graduates from Letran with a championship trophy to boast.
7 | NLEX | JEREMIAH GRAY
I know. Gray at seventh is a stretch. He’s probably a Top 3 pick in some mock drafts and he’s probably a superstar centerpiece for most down-and-out squads. Hell, Converge could even take a stab at him at number four. With that said, Gray has a torn ACL, and if he needs to heal it for the entire of 2022, then he needs to go to a team that would wait for him. Like most knee injuries, this injury would mess up his athleticism. And it’s not like Gray is a young draft applicant (he will turn 26 this year). With that said, NLEX and the rest of the MVP Group are going to be pleased if five teams snub their talent. As I said, Gray is kind of like Gabe Norwood. Maybe Gray is the thing Yeng Guiao’s team needs to get out of their current situation to win their first-ever PBA championship.
8 | GINEBRA | KEITH DATU
This is the first whammy spot on the list because the only way a player can see action with the Kings on a more prominent basis is if one of their starters goes down to injury. With that said, frequent injuries to Japeth Aguilar as well as a possible need to extend the career of Christian Standhardinger could prompt the Gins to select the Fil-Am from Chico State. I know the Kings could go for a guard but Tim Cone has been known to get the bigs in the draft. While yeah, Sonny Thoss turned into a goldmine, let it be known that Tim Cone also selected and traded for the services of James Walkvist, Migs Noble, Mike Burtscher, Isaac Holstein, and last year’s Ginebra first-rounder Ken Holmqvist.
9 | BLACKWATER | JM CALMA
Blackwater better not screw this up. If they get Giannis Anteto-Calma in their sights, they need to grab him, pronto. Not only is he the NCAA’s top scorer, but he is also a double-double magnet with range and can play multiple positions when the opportunity presents itself. Also, this is pretty much a high-low thing in case they indeed select Sedrick Barefield as their top choice. The thing about Blackwater at the moment is that they don’t really have a pronounced superstar in their squad – so this makes the ninth spot a more important spot for a prospective draft steal if you think about it.
10 | RAIN OR SHINE | GIAN MAMUYAC
I guess this is a tossup between the Ateneo guards but I chose Gian Mamuyac over Tyler Tio because I think Mamuyac has more upside – particularly in defense. Granted, I haven’t been following the UAAP for some time now. If Rain or Shine outfits their roster with a big man, the next best possible add would be a point guard – especially with Anton Asistio being the only true point guard in their roster. Ateneo is sending a lot of guards in the draft – a commodity that’s not really lacking in the PBA. It’s a different case for Rain or Shine though.
11 | BLACKWATER | SHAUN ILDEFONSO
Blackwater is in dire need of talent and they also need to sell their brand. What better way to bring in the fans than by adding Danny Ildefonso’s son to their stable. Fresh from his NU campaign, Ildefonso has the swagger to possibly extend his swagger to the pros. And while yes, not all second-generation ballers can eclipse the achievements of their dads, Ildefonso is going to play for a team that would give him exposure – especially since one of the rookies in this team will surely have a Gilas Pilipinas tag.
12 | MAGNOLIA | TYRUS HILL
Here is another whammy spot because as it stands, the Hotshots are rich with talent. However, if they can pick up a player to address the needs of an aging Rafi Reavis, then Tyrus Hill could be their player. The former DLSU big can be a workhorse in defense with the right tutor and The Elastic Man has been that guy for more than two decades. Also, I just cringe at the fact that Magnolia would get another point guard and then mess up their careers like how they historically messed up the careers of Dino Aldeguer, BJ Manalo, Boyet Bautista, and Lester Alvarez.
I may do a second-round version.