THE next PBA draft is still a good eight months away, yet fans can't seem to wait for the event to take place at the Robinsons Place in Ermita, Manila on November 3.
With top amateur stars like Greg Slaughter, Ian Sangalang, and Nico Salva expected to turn pro after this season, professional ballclubs are expected to have a shot at what should be another talented rookie class.
From the PBA teams, Barako Bull holds the edge in the race to sign Slaughter and Co. as the George Chua-owned franchise owns no less than four first-round picks, having acquired the rights of Barangay Ginebra, Petron, Meralco, and Talk 'N Text in past deals.
However, Barako’s original first-round pick, which could merit a higher draft place owing to its below-par showing this season, is owned by Rain or Shine owing to the four-team trade in 2011 that involved Sol Mercado, Ronjay Buenafe, Beau Belga and Ronnie Matias.
Aside from Rain or Shine and Barako, the other team that has a great shot at the top overall pick of the 2013 draft is San Mig Coffee, which owns Globalport's rights in the first round.
Both San Mig and Rain or Shine have to two first-round picks next year.
Other teams that have picks in the first round are Ginebra (acquired from Air 21) and the Alaska Aces.
The drafting positions will depend on the performances of the teams at the end of the Governors’ Cup in October, with the lower teams participating in a lottery to determine which gets the top three picks.
Aside from Sangalang, Salva and Slaughter, other marquee amateur and collegiate names set to be on the draft pool are Letran bigman Raymond Almazan, Adamson’s Alex Nuyles, San Sebastian’s Ronald Pascual, and Anthony Mark Brigas of FEU.
Former NCAA superstar Kevin Louie Alas of Letran has bared that he is not yet joining this year’s draft, opting to concentrate on his three-year commitment with Gilas Pilipinas.
Here now is a quick look at the picks owned by the teams in the first-two rounds (still not in order).
Barako Bull (from Ginebra)
San Mig Coffee (from Global Port)
Rain or Shine (from Barako Bull)
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (from Air 21)
San Mig Coffee*
Barako Bull (from petron)
Barako Bull (from Meralco)
Barako Bull (from Talk n Text)
Rain or Shine*
Petron (from Ginebra)
San Mig (from Barako Bull)
Rain or Shine (from Air 21)
Barako Bull (from San Mig)
Alaska (from Petron)
Air 21 (from Meralco)
Talk n’ Text*
Rain or Shine*