GAME of inches is how Alaska coach Alex Compton described his side's fierce duel against Magnolia in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals, but the two teams are also spending time planning for the Rookie Draft on Sunday.
The Aces will pick at ninth in the first round, while the Hotshots pick 10th.
Compton is confident that Alaska can take a serviceable player from the 47-man field, looking back at the team's draft history.
"Kevin Racal was 11 and Rome (dela Rosa) was 13. I love both those guys and I think they’re both doing a great job and they’re both in the finals right now. So you know, I’m sure there’s a player out there," he said as the Aces took dela Rosa 13th overall in the 2014 Draft, while Racal was drafted 11th in 2015.
"There’s lots of draft prospects. The assistants have been working some guys out, preparing video, and we got data, talking about team needs, and then we’ll go from there. Honestly, while there have been some slight discussions."
Hotshots counterpart Chito Victolero also shares the same approach, noting that the team's options remain open on who to select from this year's rookie class.
"Right now, wala pa kaming decision talaga. We’ll have a short meeting on Sunday then we will try siguro na pagusapan yun," he said. "Tingin naman namin mayroon namang solid. Hanggang second round, meron pa rin naman siguro na pwede."
Picking at late first round means Alaska and Magnolia will miss out on the big names, but both Compton and Victolero aren't really shooting for the stars as they temper their expectations.
"We need June Mar Fajardo. If not, I might draft Marc Pingris. If we can draft Marc Pingris, we’ll be alright," Compton remarked, triggering laughs from reporters. "I’m not like hiding something from you, I really don’t know. Interview me Sunday morning, I’ll have a better idea."