ALTHOUGH he wishes his players well on the eve of the PBA rookie draft, coach Egay Macaraya is also in a dilemma if and when four of his Café France stalwarts make the grade in the pro league.
“That’s my problem. Wala na akong player,” said Macaraya in the aftermath of the Bakers’ first win in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on Thursday.
“Hopefully, hindi sila makuha dahil nanalo na kami ng isa,” said Macaraya before breaking into a hearty laugh.
But kidding aside, Macaraya believes Cebuano guard Eloy Poligrates, big man Mike Parala of Mapua, and former Far Eastern University guards Ping Exciminiano and Jens Knuttel are ready for the pros, citing the way the quartet has been playing for Café France.
The four are part of the record 79 draft hopefuls taking part in the Sunday proceedings at the Robinsons Place in Ermita.
“Pinu-push talaga nung mga magpapa-draft ('yung laro nila). Kita mo naman, maganda ang linalaro nila. I guess they are ready for the PBA,” said Macaraya.
Although not highly-talked about, the four, according to Macaraya, can be an asset to any teams in the pro league.
“PBA material sila especially si Poligrates. Kita mo naman. Si Mike, may shooting sa labas parang Mick Pennisi. Sila Ping and Jens, quality guards sila,” said the Café France mentor.
Compounding Macaraya’s woes is Café France’s schedule as the Bakers play Jumbo Plastic on Monday, almost 24 hours after the draft and leaving the team with little time to adjust.
“Ang magiging problema ko kapag naubos na ‘yung mga bata. Pero wala tayong magagawa. Kung sino ‘yung mga matitira sa drafting, doon tayo. May mga contact naman tayo kung kailangan magpalit, pero aantayin muna natin ‘yung mangyayari sa drafting,” said Macaraya.
In the event all four players will be selected, the Café France head coach hopes they can be allowed to play for the Bakers at least until Monday.
“Ang alam ko, kapag na-draft, priority talaga ang PBA. Five days, doon sila (sa teams na nag-draft sa kanila). Kakausapin ko na lang sila kung puwede pa sila maglaro sa amin,” said Macaraya.