IT'S uncommon to see the top two picks of the PBA Rookie Draft miss one of the most important stages of their young pro careers.
Then again, it's country first for both Moala Tautuaa and Troy Rosario, who ended up 1-2 in the pro league’s Rookie Class of 2015.
As expected, Talk ‘N Text tabbed Tautuaa with the No. 1 selection, before Mahindra (formerly KIA Motors) chose Rosario with the second overall pick.
“Siyempre, may panghihinayang din, pero for national team yun, e,” said Danny Espiritu, the agent-representative of Rosario, who’s currently with Tautuaa and the rest of Gilas Pilipinas in Estonia after playing in a four-team, three-day pocket tournament.
“Pero kung nag-memo ang PBA na he has to be here, baka nag stay siya. Kaso may go-signal naman sa kanya kaya okay na rin kay Troy.”
In a television interview from Estonia, Tautuaa said he would've loved to grace the draft but insisted he didn't feel bad missing it for the sake of Gilas.
PBA chief statistician and Spin.ph columnist Fidel Mangonon III noted that this marked the first time in draft history that the Nos. 1 and 2 picks didn’t come up on stage to get their symbolic jackets and caps.
Tautuaa’s parents were the ones who showed up on behalf of their son, while point guard LA Revilla and coach Chito Victolero represented Rosario when his name was called.
In all, only nine out of the 63 rookie hopefuls were not drafted.