EARLIER projected to be a top five pick in the PBA Annual Draft, former Gilas cadet big man Jake Pascual is nonetheless pleased ending up with Barako Bull as the No. 8 selection overall.
The 6-foot-4 standout from San Beda said given the deep talent available, he wasn’t hoping for anything other than being taken by any team that would show interest in his services.
“Thankful ako sa kanila (Energy) na kinuha nila ako. Ang sa akin lang, magta-trabaho na lang ako ng maayos para makatulong sa team,” said Pascual, a former Best Player of the PBA D-League while with six-time champion NLEX.
Pascual is well aware he’s been drafted by a team that is on rebuilding mode, given the aging roster the Energy had the past few seasons.
Big men Mick Pennisi and Dorian Pena, along with two-time league MVP Willie Miller, are already above 35, so much so that coach Siot Tanquingcen has been putting premium on injecting young blood into his lineup.
“Big challenge sa amin this coming season kasi sabi nga na ang placing ng Barako laging eighth,” said the 25-year-old Pascual.
“Pero exciting ngayon kasi karamihan mga bata na mga players at may mga magagaling na veteran players ang Barako.”
Aside from Pascual, who’ll be joining former San Beda teammate Dave Marcelo at the Barako Bull front court, the Energy also boosted their stock by adding young players David Semerad as their No. 10 pick in the first round, along with Philip Paredes and Fil-Am guard Phillip Morrison in the second round.
Paredes is a 6-foot-5 slotman out of La Salle, while Morrison is an explosive guard who saw action for the Saigon Heat in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last year.