ALASKA deputy coach Louie Alas believes the PBA should set a higher standard on who can be eligible to enter the Annual Rookie Draft.
Alas made the contention after a record 95 hopefuls applied for the rookie draft this season. That pool went down to 87 for Sunday's proceedings at the Robinsons Place in Ermita when absentees from the pre-draft training camp were stricken off the list.
Unfortunately, there were a handful of obvious `nuisance’ applicants who showed their wares during the Rookie Combine camp held on Monday and Tuesday.
Alas believes as Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league, the PBA should set a minimum qualification in terms of basketball experience attainment of at least senior/collegiate varsity.
The multi-titled mentor was present in the two-day rookie camp, scouting possible selections for the Aces, who own the fifth, 13th, and 16th picks in Sunday’s draft, and he admitted seeing questionable applicants.
“Sa drills pa lang, kita mo na eh,” Alas told Spin.ph. “Makikita mo 'yung talagang ang knowledge is mataas. Pero marami rin kaming nakitang “oops, bakit nagpa-draft ‘to?”
“Ang hirap para sa mga coaches din, kasi instead na manonood sila talaga ng quality, may makikita kang hindi karapat-dapat - masakit mang sabihin.”
“Kahit naman sa trabaho ‘di ba? Tinitingnan kung ano 'yung attainment mo sa trabahong ina-applyan mo. Dapat sa basketball ganun din,” he added.
But at the same time, Alas is worried that getting stricter in the selection process might draw discrimination.
“Pag dineprive mo sa kanila, baka naman sabihin may discrimination,” he said. “May karapatan sila.”
Aside from that, screening is easier said than done this season since boxing Manny Pacquiao, who is set to become player-coach of expansion team Kia, has basketball credentials that pale in comparison to most of his fellow draft hopefuls.
Alas nonetheless said he admires the guts of those applicants who appeared content to gain the once-in-a-lifetime experience of playing with future PBA stars.
“Oo naman, kasi alam naman nila sa sarili nila na ang chances nila is very, very slim, pero ginawa pa rin nila. I really admire their desire and mental toughness.”
“Pero in reality, tingin ko hindi makakatulong sa drafting, lalo na sa Combine,” added Alas, whose two playing sons Kevin and Kristoffer Louie made themselves available for the rookie draft. “Siguro kung sa D-League na drafting, baka sakaling doon mas lower `yung level ng competition.”
“Pero sa PBA, dapat hindi open sa lahat.”