RD 3 PICK 35 – ROB BARTOLO
RD 4 PICK 43 – JOHN REY VILLANUEVA
TNT picked last amongst the 12 teams and I doubt that the coaching staff came to the draft with the intent of selecting the best possible talent. For starters, the draft is ridiculously shallow and TNT is one of those teams that improve their roster via trades.
Third-round pick Roberto Bartolo and fourth-round pick John Rey Villanueva are probably queued to join their 3X3 squad. While yes, this is a disappointing line to throw but in some ways, the 3X3 version is the more positive version of the PBA D-League because if you think about it, they had more players elevated from the scenario than the decade-long existence of the 5-on-5 version.
I mean... can anyone name a player who got “called” from a D-League team.
Do PBA teams even have D-League affiliates up to this day?
As mentioned, it’s a tough draw for Bartolo and Villanueva. In the past ten editions, they have had the likes of Jason Escueta, Michole Sorela, Dave Moralde, Jeffrey Ongteco, Simon Camacho, and Michael Rio Simmonds in their roster and the only third-rounder to make the squad is Eloy Poligrates in 2013. TNT is consistent with this – regardless if they are Ateneans, Bedas, and Fil Ams.
Another thing working against the two is their ages. John Rey Villanueva played in a time when Prince Eze and Edgar Charcos headlined the Perpetual Altas charge. If you see the image of Rob Bartolo, he is attempting to block Mac Belo with Jonathan Grey in the background. Further inspection of the article has the likes of Paolo Taha, RR Pogoy, Mike Tolomia, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Raymar Jose in the box scores.
As I said, it’s a tough draw.