Posted by: sportsandbeans | August 21, 2006

Steady As She Goes: Some Thoughts on the 2006 PBA Draft =)

migs id by Migs

Coming to you live from Tagaytay city here in the good ol’ RP, this is Migs of the Sports and Beans staff with an update on the 2006 PBA Draft. =)

I think that the first pick for the draft was a no-brainer. Phil-Am Kelly Williams was expected to go number one, and so he did. Williams is a star athlete who can take the outside jumper, penetrate, and muscle his way through the defense for rebounds/loose balls. He should prove to be a breath of fresh air for an aging Sta. Lucia frontline composed of Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino. Finally, Sta. Lucia has someone who can run (Kenneth Duremdes used to be able to sky in his younger days, but well, Father Time has caught up with Captain Marbel). Moreover, FEU big man Mark Isip also went to the Realtors, further beefing up their frontline. Being an Ateneo alumnus, I was particularly happy to see LA Tenorio make it to the big leagues. LA seems to be a perfect fit for the San Miguel Beermen, being given the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of being a PBA “1” from longtime guard Olsen Racela. Danny Ildefonso and Danny Seigle are fortunate to have such a fearless, cerebral, distributor to help them get their points. This pick by San Miguel harkens back to a move they made back in the 1980s, one that fetched them a legendary point guard by the name of Hector “The Director” Calma. Whether Tenorio turns out to be a splitting image of Calma remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain- LA certainly has the makings of a future star.

The Coca-Cola Tigers nabbed former La Salle swingman Joseph Yeo as the third overall pick. To me, this was a good pick for CCT merely because of the fact that a team that has a brilliant, albeit, aging, point guard in Johnny Abarrientos, an upstart 2/3 in John Arigo, and big men like Rafi Reavis and Ali Peek, becomes complete, at least on paper, with the addition of Yeo, a, at times, Kobe Bryant-esque scorer who is absolutely fearless when it comes to scoring inside against any and all defenders. Yeo has the capability to keep defenders guessing as he too as a fairly reliable outside shot. If “The Ninja” can keep his purported “attitude” in check, and if he can manage to gel with his established star teammates whilst relying on the talent he already has, then the sky’s the limit for the Coca-Cola Tigers and the former Green Archer.

Magnum Membrere, from being blue, turned red, becoming the Nth Atenean on an already loaded Red Bull squad. Commentator Alex Compton summed up the 2nd round draft impetus with the choosing of Magnum, saying that late in the draft, what you want to be able to pick up is a player who doesn’t necessarily come at you with staggering credentials, but a player whom you know will put his heart into every game, and who can give you a kick-start in a particularly aspect of the game, be it defensive rebounding, perimeter shooting, or overall man to man defensive prowess. The key late in any draft is being able to assess your potential needs, juxtaposed with initial needs that you’ve already addressed. Being ready for war doesn’t always point to being the biggest, or the one with the most “imposing” soldiers in uniform. Rather, triumph in this case could be dependent on how spread out your assets are, such that you are able to remain outstanding, in a manner dictated by balance, in the most ways possible, without compromising overall individual and collective growth.

On September 2, the PBA will begin its preseason hoops tourney. Games will be held in a variety of venues all across the Metro/Philippines. After that, the real action begins. October 1 has been marked off as opening day for PBA season 32. Only then will we know whether the likes of Magnum, LA, Joseph Yeo, K-Will, and other amongst the 20 of the 47 eligible ballers will be able to make their mark on the grandest hoops stage this country (or perhaps, even this region) has to offer. Until such time, I, along with other basketball aficionados out there, will keep our mouths more or less hushed (in still have a job writing columns for this site, hence, I can’t stay too quiet now can I?), our Chucks laced up, our jerseys nicely pressed and brimming with luster, and our sprits nestled way up in the sky as we wait for tipoff. =)

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