JOHN Ragasa was already was already resigned to the thought of not being picked in Sunday’s PBA Rookie Draft.
NorthPort then came calling.
A chorus of shouts engulfed Robinsons Place Manila after Stanley Pringle announced the Batang Pier were selecting Ragasa as their last pick of the night. It helped too, the 25-year-old veteran of the PBA D-League had a striking resemblance to Pringle and Mo Tautuaa, as he also sported a long beard.
“I have to remind him I have big beard, he has the baby beard,” he said of his short conversation with Pringle as he went up on stage to wear his rookie cap and jacket.
It turned out Ragasa was the 41st and last one to be selected out of the 47 hopefuls who applied for this year’s draft - and second out of the two picked in the fifth round after Blackwater went with Chris Dela Pena.
“Honestly, I thought I was going to be undrafted,” said Ragasa. “I guess it was a blessing.”
“I was really shocked. It was surreal to be drafted, and I’m glad I got drafted.”
Ragasa has been in and out of the D-League the last four years. His family is based in London and only caught videos of the rookie draft via live-streaming.
“My phone is really vibering right now and I’m going to message them later,” he said.
But Ragasa also knows getting drafted is just the first step. Next up for him is to compete for a spot in the Batang Pier roster in the hopes of getting signed.
NorthPort picked four rookies in the draft including No. 3 overall pick Robert Bolick.
Still, Ragasa is giving himself a chance.
“I’m looking forward to everything, every second,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll get signed, so let’s see how it goes.”