MOALA Tautuaa was made the top pick overall by Talk 'N Text and Troy Rosario went to Mahindra (formerly KIA) at No. 2 on Sunday in a PBA Rookie Draft that defied all mock projections from the third pick on.
Tautuaa, a 6-7 Fil-Tongan with an admirable combination of quickness, grace and brawn, became head of the class as he joins a Talk 'N Text team that precisely needs a boost in youth and size.
Both Tautuaa and Rosario were the consensus picks in most pre-draft charts and they went according to expectations, although both missed the draft proceedings at Robinsons Place since they are both in Estonia with Gilas Pilipinas.
Draft projections, however, went haywire from there after Rain or Shine - proving to be a real maverick - made D-League veteran Maverick Ahanmisi its surprise selection at No. 3 pick overall.
Ahanmisi, a Fil-American measured at a shade below 6-1, was largely unknown in local basketball circles until he stood out for Cafe France in the PBA D-League.
Chris Newsome went at No. 4 to Meralco, reuniting him with college coach Norman Black, while cheers erupted inside the venue when Barangay Ginebra made NCAA MVP Scottie Thompson the No. 5 overall.
Top gunner Garvo Lanete was taken at No. 6 by his former D-League team NLEX, San Beda guard Baser Amer was made the No. 7 pick overall by Meralco while Star selected big man Norbert Torres with the No. 8 pick overall.
Rounding out the first-round selections were Art dela Cruz at No. 9 for Blackwater, Glen Khobuntin at No. 10 by NLEX, Letran standout Kevin Racal at No. 11 by Alaska and Josan Nimes at No. 12 by Rain or Shine.