AT least two out of the 43 Draft aspirants stood out in the eyes of former Grand Slam coach Norman Black during a special rookie exhibition camp held Thursday at the Club 650 in Libis, Quezon City.
“I like what I saw with (Vic) Manuel and (Jason) Deutchman. Deutchmann showed some shooting too,” admitted Black, who is returning to the PBA starting next season as coach of Talk `N Text.
The two were among those who showed their wares at the Espiritu-Manotoc basketball management rookie camp, a brain child of player agents Danny Espiritu and Matthew Manotoc that showcased the talent and skill of 43 hopefuls eligible for Sunday’s rookie draft at the Robinsons Midtown Mall in Manila.
All the players who participated suited up in a couple of eight-minute sets played before scouts and coaches like Black, Barako Bull’s Junel Baculi, Franz Pumaren of Air21, and Alaska’s Luigi Trillo.
Manuel, the hardworking 6-foot-2 forward, saw action for Cebuana Lhuillier in the PBA D-League, where he clinched an MVP plum two conferences back after leading the team to a semifinal appearance.
Black, however, will be picking late in the draft. Talk 'N Text has no first-round pick and will be picking last in the second round.
On the other hand, Deutchman admitted to Spin.ph that he could still feel the effects of jet lag, having just arrived late Monday evening from the United States with his Filipino mother Maria.
Jet lag and all, Deutchman was still able to showcase a nice shooting touch from beyond the arc.
The 24-year-old Fil-Am, a product of San Diego State, first saw action for Pharex last year in the defunct Philippine Basketball League, hooked up with San Miguel Beer in the Asean Basketball League, and played three games for Café France last May in the PBA D-League.
While admitting this year’s Draft is quite deep, Deutchman said he hopes to land a spot with Air21, which he felt he could help in the `3’ position.