THE lack of quality big men in the coming PBA rookie draft may likely prompt Rain or Shine to trade the No. 2 overall pick in the team’s effort to shore up its undersized frontline.
The Elasto Painters are picking second behind GlobalPort in the August 24 event at the Robinsons Place Ermita. The Batang Pier already signified their intention to make Fil-Am guard Stanley Pringle the top pick of this year’s rookie batch.
With the rookie pool loaded with guard and wingmen and thin on big men, Rain or Shine, sources said, is looking at the trade option in a bid to shore up an undersized frontline composed of Beau Belga, Jervy Cruz, reed-thin Raymond Almazan, and injured backup center JR Quinahan.
“Gagalaw lang ang Rain or Shine kapag lumabas na ang official lineup ng mga rookie applicants. Pero kung wala silang makitang quality big man, it’s a possibility na i-trade nila ang No. 2 pick nila in exchange for a quality big man,” a source told Spin.ph on Sunday.
The talent pool in this year’s draft remains as teams await the entry of D-League Foundation Cup MVP Kevin Alas, high-scoring Garvo Lanete, Fil-Am Matt Ganuelas, Ronald Pascual, and forward Jake Pascual.
Spin.ph earlier broke the report that five Gilas cadet members are being convinced to forego their draft plans this year and stay one more season in the D-League in order to lead the new team of the Manny V. Pangilinan group which may carry either the Cignal TV or Philex Mining banner.
The same source said Rain or Shine could possibly consider another option in drafting Fil-Italian guard Chris Banchero as its second pick, before trading him to another PBA team in exchange for a quality big man.
One of those options is Jay Washington, who has been put on the trading block by GlobalPort.
Banchero is just one of two big-name Fil-foreign players who are expected to land in the top three of this year’s Draft owing to his solid credentials.
The 6-foot Banchero, who played two conferences for Boracay Rhum in the D-League, was last year’s Finals MVP in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) after leading the San Miguel Beermen to the championship against Pringle and the Indonesia Warriors.