IT turns out coach Mark Herrera really didn’t have to pore over the aspirants list as he made AMA Online walk-in Owen Graham the top pick in a surprise-filled D-League rookie draft.
Graham has been with the Titans for a year, and Herrera was convinced 6-foot-4 was worthy of being the No. 1 choice in draft that saw 124 players being picked by 13 teams.
He described the Fil-Canadian as someone like Arwind Santos, who can effectively play all positions but point guard.
Herrera has seen what Graham can do in the Naascu, Fr. Martin's Cup, and NCRAA, and is convinced he is ripe for the PBA Developmental League.
"Hardworking sya sa defense plus he can score. Hindi sya yung puro depensa lang. Para syang Arwind Santos," said Mark Herrera.
"Nakikita namin sa practice na go hard sya e. Hindi sya nagre-relax. Parang sina Jeron (Teng) at Andre (Paras) na pag practice pukpok talaga. Andun yung level nya," he said.
Herrera believes Graham’s skills and energy fits a Titans squad featuring hardworking Andre Paras.
Grateful for the trust AMA is giving him, Graham is eager to make an impact as he teams up with Paras in the opening conference starting on January 18.
"Theres always gonna be pressure in anything you decide to do," he said.
"But I'm just gonna stick to what I know which is do my best, work hard, dive for the ball, and get dirty if I have to. Hopefully i make an impact."