MARK Bringas has the distinction of being the final player to be tabbed in the biggest - and perhaps deepest - draft pool ever in the 39-year history of the Philippine Basketball Association.
The former Far Eastern University stalwart was chosen by Meralco as the 44th and last pick out of the record 79 rookie hopefuls who made themselves available in Sunday’s proceedings that served as the league’s first official order of business for the new season.
The elder brother of controversial player Arvie Bringas was the lone player selected in the seventh and final round after nine teams earlier passed on their respective picks.
Until his name was finally called by commissioner Chito Salud, Bringas admitted losing a little bit of his self-esteem.
“Parang nawawalan na ako ng tiwala sa sarili ko nung hindi pa ako tinatawag,” he told Spin.ph shortly after the draft at Robinsons Place in Ermita. “Kaya sobrang saya ko nung narinig ko ang pangalan ko.”
He said there was no previous arrangement with Meralco – or any team for that matter – to draft him.
“Walang ganun. Kaya nga masayang-masaya ako kahit paano na-draft ako,” said Bringas.
At the same time, he’s aware that being drafted by Meralco doesn't mean being signed outright by the Bolts.
“Actually, hindi naman sigurado ako or `yung iba pa kung makaka-pirma. So lahat may chance pa rin. Pagbubutihan ko na lang para mapansin pa rin ako ng Meralco,” he added.
And in case he fails to hook up with the Bolts or with the rest of the PBA teams, Bringas said there always will be an option.
“May D-League pa naman. So kailangan magpakita ka pa rin para mapansin ka ng ibang teams,” added the young forward who plays for D-League side Cagayan Valley.