GLOBALPORT coach Junel Baculi believes the draft pool is so rich in talented guards that its first-round pick could more than make up for any perceived loss in the team’s recent player movements.
The Batang Pier are holding the No. 7 pick in Sunday’s PBA Draft, and Baculi said Far Eastern University stars Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia, Arellano’s James Forrester, Alex Nuyles, Ateneo forward Nico Salva, and Blackwater Sports’ Robby Celiz are all on their radar.
The team is expecting to “fill-in the gaps” through the draft, especially now that the Globalport backcourt is missing former scoring champion Gary David, who was recently traded to Meralco for Chris Ross.
“I think magiging impact player ’yung hanggang seventh (pick overall) because of the inclusions of the guards,” Baculi told Spin.ph on Tuesday.
Baculi, however, admitted that their possible draftee is still unclear since Barako Bull will be picking from fourth to sixth in the first round.
“It depends on Barako Bull kung sino ang kukunin namin,” said Baculi on Tuesday. “Lahat ng nasa wish list nila, nasa wish list din namin. We will see what will happen on Sunday.”
Rumors have been floating around that Barako Bull’s sixth pick will eventually be traded to Globalport in hopes of obtaining University of Santo Tomas star Jeric Teng. There are even talks that Globalport’s own No. 7 pick will also be traded to be able to acquire a veteran player.
Baculi neither confirmed nor denied those rumors even as trade agreements could be sealed during the PBA board meeting in Sydney this week.
“There are lots of possibilities na ayoko naman i-pre-empt. Siyempre we are also conferring with Boss Mikee (Romero). Tignan natin. But definitely, we need to fill in the gaps,” said Baculi.
Even with David gone, Baculi is still confident that the holdovers, especially Sol Mercado, will be able to deliver the needed numbers.
“Nandiyan pa naman si JP Belencion who is developing into a good shooter. Sol can also slide to number two, kasi minsan nahihirapan din si Sol to distribute and score at the same time. Nakakapagod ’yun,” said Baculi.