RYAN BUENAFE should be a high first-rounder in the 2013 PBA Draft in the eyes of one of his former coaches.
“Potential-wise, I believe that he (Buenafe) is top five in this batch,” Ateneo coach Bo Perasol said.
But with the talent so deep in this biggest pool of rookie aspirants ever to apply in the draft, Buenafe at the earliest could end up a late first-round pick.
The 23-year-old cousin of Ronjay Buenafe, the former Ateneo star played out his final year with the Blue Eagles by averaging 11.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in Season 76 of the UAAP.
After coaching the former San Sebastian high school stalwart, Perasol is high on Buenafe and feels he will flourish in the pro league. He, however, believes the 6-foot-2 Buenafe should slim down in order to cope up with the quickness of most of the PBA wingmen.
“Given the right environment and competitive atmosphere, Ryan will definitely thrive in the PBA. He will have to cut down some more pounds to match with the quicker wingmen. But offensively, he has the tools to make it in the pros,” said Perasol, formerly the coach of Air21 and Powerade.
Weight issues have weighed down Buenafe’s collegiate career, the Ateneo star even missing the 2011 season over the same concern.
Still, Buenafe was a major piece in the Eagles’ run to five straight UAAP championships, even winning the 2010 Finals MVP.
“Offensively, he has the tools to make it in the pros,” said Perasol.