GLOBALPORT hopes the entry of explosive Fil-American guard Stanley Pringle could start the young franchise’s turnaround as the pro league officially opens its 40th season with Sunday’s 2014 Gatorade PBA Rookie Draft at the Robinsons Place Ermita.
The Batang Pier, who won only a total of 14 games during their first two seasons, are expected to make former Penn state guard Pringle this year’s top overall pick.
The new PBA season will be marked by two new records — two expansion ballclubs in Blackwater Elite and Kia Kamao that increased the league’s member squads to 12 overall, along with 87 rookie aspirants, who are looking to fulfill their hoop dreams.
The draft proceedings begin at 4 p.m.
Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, who will be officially drafted in an expected jampacked activity center inside the mall, won’t be around for the event as he left for Macau on Saturday for the press tour of his title defense against Chris Algieri.
Expected to be taken as early picks are Fil-Italian guard Chris Banchero, who won last year’s Asean Basketball League Finals MVP award, and Gilas cadet standouts led by Kevin Alas, Jake Pascual, Matt Rosser and Ronald Pascual.
A guessing game, though, follows shortly after GlobalPort’s first pick.
Rain or Shine had earlier declared it needs a big man, and with top Painters guard Paul Lee asking to be transferred, the team’s move on draft day is unclear.
Other potential draftees include Jericho Cruz of Adamson, Anthony Semerad of San Beda, big man Kyle Pascual, Raul Soyud and Rome de la Rosa.
After Globalport and Rain or Shine (from Meralco), Barako Bull picks next followed by Nlex, Alaska, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, San Mig Coffee (from Barako, acquired from Petron/San Miguel Beer), Barako Bull (from Talk ‘N’ Text), Rain Or Shine, Barako Bull (from San Mig Coffee), Kia Motors and Blackwater.
The Annual Draft will also welcome the new board chairman Patrick Gregorio of Talk ’N Text, succeeding immediate past chairman Ramon Segismundo of Meralco.
Segismundo will also be given a plaque of appreciation by the pro league led by commissioner Chito Salud for his stewardship of the PBA last season.