My 2022 PBA MOCK Draft just got messed up with the exclusion of Justine Baltazar. I mean... why bother at this point? The thing about the PBA is... the hell is wrong with your office???
IT GIVES OUT A BAD PRECEDENT!!!
And now I just learned that Sedrick Barefield is also out of the draft.
The 2022 PBA Draft went from shallow to somewhat trivial.
Aside from Baltazar and Barefield, gone from the list are Fil-Am Keith Datu, Ateneo’s BJ Andrade, UST’s Joshua Fontanilla, AMA’s Nikon Alina, USJ-R’s Fletcher Galvez, USC’s John Reel Saycon, and Revino Raymundo. The draft is down to 66 bets and I’m guessing with the way the current draft is at the moment... the shit goes a little something like this!
1 – BLACKWATER | BRANDON GANUELAS-ROSSER
The die is cast basically at this point. I mean... I’ll be happy if they’ll select either Justin Arana or Jeo Ambohot but BGR has turned into a good thing now. His gameplay is still questionable because he’s a big man that can play around the perimeter and he’s going to a team that doesn’t have the luxury of having their big man languishing on the outside. Still, Rosser is trending upwards especially if he returns with a SEA Games gold medal as part of the country's 3X3 squad.
2 – TERRAFIRMA | JUSTIN ARANA
This is a good pick for both parties. Arana will bring size to Terrafirma and Team Dyip will finally get the big to pair with Joshua Munzon and Juami Tiongson. Arana also impressed everyone in the Draft Combine so I’m pretty sure Terrafirma will use their pick wisely.
3 – CONVERGE | JAVI GOMEZ DE LIANO
The only reason why JGDL is not ideal for Terrafirma is that they have a lot of guards there. I can really see this guy doing promotional ads with the team for everyone’s pleasure. Also, if he can bring his combo guard awesomeness to the team, then he’s going to give Jeron Teng the extra space to operate.
4 – CONVERGE | JEREMIAH GRAY
The thin draft will give Converge the option to keep Jeremiah Gray. I admit, I had Gray low... but he is also coming from an ACL injury. Either Converge would make Gray a draft disappointment or a draft steal at this spot. With that said, keeping Gray in the sidelines could also give the FiberXers the time to further hone the skills of Allyn Bulanadi and Ben Adamos.
5 – RAIN OR SHINE | JEO AMBOHOT
Again, Rain or Shine is in need of a guard and a center. And while there are a lot of good guards in the draft, getting a marquee big is always important. Now, who’s up for the re-jigged tag team of Ambohot and Rey Nambatac?
6 – NORTHPORT | JM CALMA
If Ambohot goes to Rain or Shine, then Giannis Anteto-Calma is going to Northport. They still need to fill up the void left by Greg Slaughter (if and when he comes back) and I’m pretty sure they are not going to waste a guy that also has the same gameplay as Arwind Santos and Jamie Malonzo (a big that could score from the outside).
7 – NLEX | GIAN MAMUYAC
I initially had NLEX getting a Gabe Norwood clone like Jeremiah Gray but with the draft low in talent, the best situation for the Road Warriors is to get one-half of the remaining Atenean guards. I have Mamuyac over Tio because as seen in their final game, #5 is clutch, has a penchant for defense, and could be a dude that Yeng Guiao would like.
8 – GINEBRA | TYRUS HILL
No changes here. Ginebra will still get the best option with the best ceiling and without Keith Datu, the former DLSU big man is going to be the player here. Would they go for a guard? I guess Tyler Tio could be a possibility.
9 – BLACKWATER | SHAUN ILDEFONSO
I think Blackwater is loaded with guards which is why I am going to have the team pick wingmen and big men that can play the three big spots. Also, Ildefonso is a noteworthy name for again, promotional posters and the like. This is why Ildefonso is this high in the draft.
10 – RAIN OR SHINE | TYLER TIO
I still think Rain or Shine is going to gun for a PG as their second pick in the draft. I know the Ateneo guard ended his UAAP career four points short of a title, but there is a reason why he is a much-coveted pick when he applied in the draft.
11 – BLACKWATER | KURT LOJERA
I had Kurt Lojera pegged at this spot a couple of days ago but he had to go down in the second round because of Barefield, Datu, and Baltazar. The former DLSU forward gets an up now because he could give Blackwater an extra offensive option.
12 – MAGNOLIA | MARK DYKE
I guess the first round is loaded with former DLSU Green Archers. I also think that while I initially had the Hotshots select a big man to replace Rafi Reavis, I don’t think there are any players left to fill that gap.
Here's a fun fact...
Every player doodle I make... real-life withdraws from the draft!
And here is my updated second round prediction!
13 – NLEX | ATO ULAR
14 – PHOENIX | ALLEN MINA
15 – CONVERGE | CHRISTIAN FAJARITO
16 – PHOENIX | JERWYN GUINTO
17 – RAIN OR SHINE | KYLE TOTH
18 – RAIN OR SHINE | JHONARD CLARITO
19 – PHOENIX | JOHN APACIBLE
20 – GINEBRA | JAYSON DAVID
21 – BLACKWATER | ENCHO SERRANO
22 – MERALCO | KEITH ZALDIVAR
23 – PHOENIX | CJ CADUA
24 – MAGNOLIA | JOLLO GO
From my previous versions, I haven't written about Jhonard Clarito, John Apacible, Keith Zaldivar, and CJ Cadua.
Of the four, I know Cadua the best. Alongside Marwin Taywan, they form a driven EAC backcourt alongside scorers Ralph Robin and King Gurtiza. In some ways, Cadua and Taywan were upstaged by their two juniors but Cadua gets the better of Taywan because of his built and showmanship. Simply put, Cadua is like the 2022 version of Rob Johnson.
Also to impress is Jhonard Clarito. While the De Ocampo Cobras aren't as popular as their UAAP and NCAA counterparts, Clarito did well for himself. He is also part of MPBL powerhouse squad San Juan Knights and of all the MPBL teams, San Juan has a proven record in terms of successfully sending their boys to the main dance. Collegiate journeyman John Apacible is also a name to check out - taking major gameplay with the UE Red Warriors before taking his act to the MPBL.
As for Keith Zaldivar, he's coming in fresh from a Season 84 stint with the Adamson Soaring Falcons. I have no idea if he's ready to face pro competition but he's a project that could work well for the team he'll be playing.