GREG Slaughter as expected became the first pick overall of the 2013 PBA rookie draft, chosen by a Barangay Ginebra team that now looks to the 6-foot-11 center to become the dominant big man in the middle the Kings have not had since the glory days of Marlou Aquino.
Slaughter also became the second straight Cebuano after former college rival June Mar Fajardo to become head of the draft class in proceedings at the Robinson's Place Manila mall that took several surprise twists and turns after the top three selections.
Ian Sangalang, as expected, went to San Mig at No. 2 overall and Letran's Raymond Almazan went to Rain or Shine at No. 3, but the draft took a new turn when controversial deals Barako Bull made for the fourth to sixth picks overall were announced by Commissioner Chito Salud on the draft floor.
Barako Bull traded the No. 4 pick to Ginebra for Rico Maierhofer and Willie Wilson - a right the Kings used to select former Arellano standout James Forrester, kicking off the whirl of trades.
The Energy Cola then acquired Mark Isip and Magi Sison in a trade for the No. 5 pick, which Petron in turn sent to Globalport for sophomore Yousef Taha. The Batang Pier turned that pick into flamboyant FEU star Terrence Romeo.
Another trade for the No. 6 pick, which Barako Bull sent to Globalport for Denok Miranda, turned into another former Tamaraw RR Garcia, setting the stage for a reunion between two players who didn't always see eye to eye during their college careers.
Globalport pulled off another surprise at No. 7 when it selected Isaac Holstein. Alaska then used the No. 8 pick on former Ateneo star Ryan Buenafe, Rain or Shine grabbed former Adamson standout Alex Nuyles at No. 9 while Jusitn Chua went to San Mig with the 10th pick overall.
The drafting went as far as the seventh round - the first time it happened in league history - with Meralco making Mark Bringas the 44th and final pick overall among a record 79 hopefuls.
Two consensus first-rounders who failed to make the Top 10 were the first to go in the second round, with former Ateneo stalwart Nico Salva going to Globalport at No. 11 overall and former University of Santo Tomas star Jeric Teng going to Rain or Shine at No. 12.
Also, Salva going to Globalport means teaming up with former college rivals Romeo and Garcia.
The rest of the second-round picks were Fil-Am Justin Melton (San Mig), former UST guard Jeric Fortuna (Barako Bull), JP Erram (Talk 'N Text), Eric Camson (Air21), Robby Celiz (Talk 'N Text), Ping Exciminiano (Alaska), Gayford Rodriguez (Rain or Shine) and Carlo Lastimosa (Barako Bull).
Rookie hopefuls selected in the third round include Joshua Webb (Air21), Jopher Custodio (Globalport), Darwin Cordero (Barako Bull), LA Revilla (Globalport, after trading its 2016 and 2017 second round selections in exchange for Barangay Ginebra’s 2013 2nd round and 2014 first round pick).
Petron took in Sam Marata (25th), Meralco got Anjo Caram (26th), Talk ‘N Text added Eliud Poligrates (27th), Alaska went for Raymund Ilagan (28th), Rain or Shine selected John Ervic Vijandre (29th) while San Mig wrapped up the third round by taking in former San Miguel beer shooter JR Cawaling with the 30th pick.
The fourth round draftees include Angelo Ingco (Air21), Jett Vidal (Barako Bull), 6’9” hulking center John Usita (Barangay Ginebra), Nate Matute (Petron), Mike Parala (Meralco) and Chris Sumalinog (Talk ‘N Text).
Globalport, Alaska, Rain or Shine and San Mig Coffee all passed.
The fifth round saw Randolf Chua going to Air21, Mike Silungan joining Barako Bull, Alvin Padilla moving to Barangay Ginebra, Mark Lopez going to Meralco and John Byron Villarias winding up with Talk ‘N Text.
In the sixth round, former FEU back-up guard Jens Knuttel went to Barangay Ginebra, while Ron Guevarra went to Meralco. Air21, Globalport, Petron and Talk ‘N Text elected to pass.