TOP rookie pick Raphael Banal formally joined Blackwater after signing a two-year contract on Saturday.
Banal, the first player to be picked in the last PBA Rookie Draft outside members of the Gilas cadet pool, signed a package that was worth P3.4 million, SPIN.ph learned.
The deal makes the US-schooled Banal the latest second generation PBA player to suit up in the pro league, following in the footsteps of the likes of Dudut Jaworski and Jonas Mariano.
His father, former national player Joel Banal, won four championships with Great Taste, where he suited up from 1982 to 1986, and a championship as coach of Talk 'N Text in 2003.
The Elite earlier tabbed prolific big man Mac Belo from the special draft involving members of the national team and immediately offered the Zamboanga native out of Far Eastern University a three-year contract.
Another Gilas cadet in Carl Byran Cruz has already signed a two-year pact with Alaska, while Jio Jalalon is set to formalize his three-year offer from Star once the team returns from its team-building session in Calaca, Batangas this weekend.