If Santa is real, all I want for Christmas is a powerful laptop to fit my vlogging needs.
Because darn it… I could use one.
I was going to do a vlog about the 2018 PBA Draft but yeah… I am technologically incapable. I downloaded a lot of Korean variety shows and I have yet to buy an external hard drive… so my laptop is ultra slow.
With that said, the recent events have forced me to re-structure my mock draft.
Game starts now.
1 | COLUMBIAN DYIP | CJ PEREZ
Now I hate how Columbian is going to ditch Bobby Ray Parks for CJ Perez. I get Parks’ ABL restrictions but it’s not like Perez will enter the PBA problem-free because The Baby Beast will enter a squad with a lot of position potholes. Columbian is a team… that kind of looks like a PBA team? Half of the guys on their roster could head to Maharlika while the other half could play for the UNTV Cup. I am not knocking on the two aforementioned leagues but there is a reason why they own the top pick in consecutive seasons... and why they chose to trade their picks or start their campaign with Manny Pacquiao. This team needs an import-like player like Parks but perhaps CJ Perez could wheel his magic the way he did at Lyceum… and not like his disastrous brief stint with the Blue Eagles.
2 | BLACKWATER ELITE | BOBBY RAY PARKS
In my past mock drafts, I had Jason Brickman pegged as the Blackwater pick because they are a point guard away from becoming contenders. Bobby Ray Parks is an upgrade!!! Here is a guy that played in the NBA Developmental League alongside Allen Durham. Parks is a two-time UAAP MVP and a two-time ABL Local MVP! Maharlika probably based a lot of their rules because of his accomplishments. Of course MPBL wants this guy out… because he is too good for their league! Most importantly, Parks is can play the PG position as well as Brickman. If BRP goes to Blackwater, expect Team Elite to bust out of their win-loss record hell. I know Parks will finish his Alab Pilipinas campaign somewhere in 2019 but what are the chances of Blackwater striking gold if this guy plays alongside Henry Walker in next season’s Governors’ Cup?
3 | NORTHPORT BATANG PIER | ROBERT BOLICK
The voices in my head are telling me to pick Abu Tratter over Bolick but… the San Beda guard could be a “can’t miss” prospect. Stanley Pringle is a ball dominant baller but since he entered the league at 27, the soon-to-be 32-year-old guard needs to tone down on his awesomeness if he wants to extend his career. Northport had commercial success with Pringle and Terrence Romeo doing their thing but with Bolick, they could just go back to the days when they were still called Harbour Centre and they grand slammed the shit on their tormentors. Besides, Bolick is a scoring machine as well. The voices inside my head are satisfied with my Bolick rationale.
4 | NLEX ROAD WARRIORS | TREVIS JACKSON
Oh shit. Are you expecting Abu Tratter? HEAR ME OUT… UPON THE NEXT ENTRY ON THIS LIST! Anyway at the moment, both Alex Mallari and Dave Marcelo are journeymen and for that factoid alone, the Road Warriors have already won this trade. But here’s the fun part – Trevis Jackson could be Yeng Guiao’s Terrence Romeo especially with Kiefer Ravena’s suspension. The guy went to the States to further hone his craft and Guiao is a sucker for troopers! Jackson will replace Mallari in his lineup so he could use the seventh pick for a big man. Also with Ravena out, Kevin Alas recovering from injury, and Cyrus Baguio and Larry Fonacier on the verge of retirement, they could use a guy like Jackson to help pave for their future like how Guiao shocked people when he drafted Maverick Ahanmisi (even if it was Caloy Garcia’s idea).
5 | MERALCO BOLTS | ABU TRATTER
This is the scenario I was talking about in the NLEX-Phoenix trade. Meralco is in dire need of a big man to backstop Cliff Hodge and for some insane reason… Reynel Hugnatan is still a beast. In a time when most MBA remnants are transitioning to other endeavours, they need to prepare for the future. Why is that? Ranidel de Ocampo barely played last season and it also didn’t help that Baser Amer got little to no help in the FIBA Champions’ Cup with Hodge and Chris Newsome unable to participate. I mean… Meralco entered their favourite confy with Anjo Caram as the fifth-highest minute producer. Hell, the team had to pick Jammer Jamito from the unrestricted free agents list to have something in that position. I am not being mean to both Caram and Jamito but they need the draft to get a quality talent. Sure, Tratter is not a scorer but he is also the only non-PBA player other than Christian Standhardinger (at first) and Andray Blatche to participate in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers this year so yeah, they could use a quality big man at this spot.
6 | RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS | BONG QUINTO
Bong Quinto is not the flashiest of players but he gets the job done. This Letran combo guard could help the Elasto Painters deal with the retirement of Chris Tiu as Caloy Garcia’s core slowly transition to the future. With that said, the only thing I don’t like about Quinto going to ROS is that the team needs to choose between Quinto and Rey Nambatac with regards to development. Sure, these familiar faces will relish the chance to play alongside each other but eventually, one should get pissed with the miniscule minutes he is getting. Now I know they can play together like the way they did during their NCAA days (as Nambatac is more SG/SF) but this is a different scenario with a lot of variables.
7 | NLEX ROAD WARRIORS | JAVEE MOCON
I bet Yeng Guiao wants to trade this pick to Rain or Shine for Beau Belga. Rain or Shine could accept this… since Belga saw a lot of action in the FIBA Qualifiers. But let’s assume they want distance from each other. Then NLEX should pick Javee Mocon. Now Guiao could have gone with a player like Aris Dionisio or Arvin Tolentino if they made their selves draft-able but Mocon is a sure thing with the Road Warriors. The reigning NCAA Finals MVP helped San Beda defeat Lyceum and yeah… Beda is a part of the MVP Group. Mocon knows how to win and Guiao needs a player to give his team a winning drive.
8 | RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS | KRIS PORTER
Rain or Shine still depends on Beau Belga and Raymond Almazan at the paint with guys like Jewel Ponferada, Norbert Torres, Jay Washington, and Sidney Onwubere helping out. Like I said earlier, I can see Belga moving this season with Almazan following suit. The eighth spot could give the Elasto Painters a dependable big man and I am torn between Kris Porter and Michael Calisaan. But then, Porter used the other leagues to improve his craft and his various local and international stints would help the Elasto Painters get higher on the proverbial PBA food chain.
9 | ALASKA ACES | PAUL DESIDERIO
I know Paul Desiderio’s UAAP Finals stint made his draft stock skyrocket. And yeah, I have seen a lot of his clutch plays. The ninth spot is not a knock at his talents but in fact, the best landing spot for the former UP Fighting Maroon. Alaska in a span of two seasons lost Cyrus Baguio, RJ Jazul, and Calvin Abueva for role players. Now I get that Alex Compton puts a cap on his players’ playing time but the former MBA superstar is also a beast in terms of nurturing his players as evidence with the current incarnations of Vic Manuel, Chris Banchero, and Nonoy Baclao. Desiderio could come in an environment in which he could challenge Jeron Teng at the SG/SF spots.
10 | MAGNOLIA HOTSHOTS | RON DENNISON
The Hotshots are loaded at the guard spots and they also have a respectable frontline. Rafi Reavis is still kicking ass at this stage of his career to the point of Aldrech Ramos getting stapled on their bench. And yeah, Magnolia could use another body to man their frontcourt. But hey, they can also get the best player available and a name that stands out is Ron Dennison. In his first 15 games with the Navotas Clutch, the former FEU small forward averaged 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and almost 2 steals per game. Chito Victolero has a soft spot for defensive specialists.
11 | COLUMBIAN DYIP | MICHAEL CALISAAN
You know what? I want Columbian to get the best talent available. With that said, Columbian has already Rashawn McCarthy and Jerramy King with the possibility of keeping the likes of Russel Escoto, Jackson Corpuz, Ronald Tubid, Eric Camson, Carlo Lastimosa, Dylan Ababou, Dan Sara, and Reden Celda and yeah… they could use another player like… Michael Calisaan. I know the former San Sebastian Stag isn’t that of a big name but this guy flourished as the school’s main man when the talent is low. Also years ago, the team scored big with the selection of another Baste alum in Bradwyn Guinto.
12 | PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS | JEEPY FAUNDO
The development of Jason Perkins is for sure Phoenix’s top priority. With that said, the Fuel Masters will still look for size and Jeepy Faundo could close out the first round of the draft. The former UST Growling Tiger didn’t have the greatest of numbers back in college but he could be a dependable role player for Phoenix. Anyway, Phoenix is an awesome landing spot for a big man because he has the opportunity to snatch the top center spot from aging frontliners like Doug Kramer, JC Intal, and Willy Wilson as well as Justin Chua, Joseph Eriobu, and the recently-acquired Dave Marcelo.
It’s hard to predict the second round because the current PBA calendar is flawed. I mean… the Governors’ Cup Finals runs smack with the draft. And we have yet to determine the winners of the Leo Awards. What’s up with that? This could be the year June Mar Fajardo would break the two-decade long record shared by Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio. I know they need to balance the PBA with the FIBA qualifiers but I feel the league can’t handle their current schedule.
As much as I favor the three-conference setup, I think they need to do a better job in making the league’s important events matter.
Anyway, all I know is that the likes of Jjay Alejandro, Matt Salem, CJ Isit, JP Calvo, MJ Ayaay, and Teytey Teodoro will have a second round mention. The thing about this draft is that it’s guard-centered.
Which means the overload of guards will take a backseat to the doable-but-scarce big men.