THE PBA rookie draft is a good two weeks away, but this early teams are already poring over their respective wish lists in an 84-deep pool that should yield a couple of future superstars.
Spin.ph took a quick poll among the coaches and officials and here's the result.
The first three picks are more or less settled, with Barangay Ginebra bent on using the No. 1 pick overall on seven-footer Greg Slaughter, San Mig set to settle for Ian Sangalang if Slaughter is not available, and Rain or Shine keen to tab the best big man available after the two.
That should be Letran star Raymond Almazan, although Rain or Shine has two more big decisions to make in the draft since the Painters also own the ninth pick overall as well as the second pick of the second round of the November 3 draft which comes at 12th overall.
Rain or Shine team manager Boy Lapid said the ballclub is willing to listen to trade offers for the ninth pick but - if no ideal deal comes its way - assistant coach Caloy Garcia said they will most likely gun for the best shooter available at that point.
“Ok kami to trade that … depende kung sino (ang kapalit) or papaano,” said Lapid.
Garcia said the Painters would love to have Jeric Teng, RR Garcia, or Terrence Romeo but doubts if any of the three would still be available at No. 9. No wonder he regrets that Gilas cadet and former San Sebastian gunner Ronald Pascual opted not to join the draft.
“Gusto sana namin 'yung tipong Jeric Teng, RR Garcia at Terrence Romeo … kaso malabo nang umabot sa ninth (pick) 'yun … masyado nang malalim,” said Garcia.
“Gusto namin talaga isang shooter na anytime pwedeng pumutok … Sayang nga hindi nagpa-draft si Ronald Pascual.”
Garcia said former Ateneo back-up center Justine Chua is also on the team's radar.
Barako Bull should have the biggest decisions to make on Draft Day as it owns the fourth, fifth, and sixth picks overall - that is, assuming the Energy Cola change their mind on a planned trade with Globalport for the No. 6 selection.
Head coach Bong Ramos admit Teng, Garcia, and Romeo are on their wish list, although there are players like former Ateneo star Nico Salva who may also figure in the equation.
“Hindi pa kasi kami nag-meeting pero syempre kung sino ang best available talent. Pero nasa radar namin yung alin sa tatlong guards na 'yun,” said Ramos.
Globalport should be the most interested spectator when Barako Bull makes its decisions on the fourth to sixth picks since these would dictate what the Batang Pier would do with the No. 7 pick.
Coach Junel Baculi is hoping the team could get someone who can fill the shoes left by veteran gunner Gary David, who Globalport sent to Meralco in a three-team trade a week ago.
“Kailangan namin ng pamalit kay Gary David. Kung hindi man sa galing … kailangan 'yung laki dapat hindi nalalayo. So depende sa Barako ang draft namin,” said Baculi.
Former UST star Teng and reigning UAAP MVP Ateneo should fit the profile, although Baculi also revealed his keen interest in Fil-Canadian James Forrester.
The Alaska Aces are open to trading the eighth pick overall. But if the team finds no takers, it will most likely look for someone who can play back-up to starting guard JV Casio.
“Gusto sana naming i-trade eh kaso wala pang taker. Pero kung may gusto pa dyan … open pa rin siguro kami to talk,” said Louie Alas, Alaska's assistant coach.
“Pero ang gusto namin 'yung malaking perimeter shooter,” added the multi-titled amateur coach while also expressing interest in Forrester.
Meanwhile, San Mig governor Rene Pardo said the situation is still fluid with regards to the 10th and last pick of the first round, the decision likely to be dictated by the choices of the teams picking ahead of them.
“Masyado nang malalim 'yun. Pero just the same … we’d go for the best available talent,” he said.
Still, San Mig should still have plenty to pick from at No. 10 overall in a record draft pool that coaches insist will yield plenty of blue-chip prospects deep into the second round.
Other players expected to go early are 6-9 Fil-Am Isaac Holstein, former Adamson forward Alex Nuyles, and former UST Tigers starting guard Jeric Fortuna.
Also with a shot at landing a spot in the league next season are former FEU guard Jens Knuttel and fellow Tamaraws JR Cawaling and Mark Bringas, Ateneo veteran Ryan Buenafe and centers Carlo Sumalinog and John Paul Erram, De La Salle guard LA Revilla, Sam Marata (DLSU/UP), Carlo Lastimosa (Colleg of St. Benilde) and Blackwater Sports streak shooter Rob Celiz.
Here is the draft order for the first and second rounds of the draft as of 5 p.m., October 19, 2013.
1. Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel
2. San Mig Coffee Mixers
3. Rain or Shine Elastopainters
4. Barako Bull Energy Cola
5. Barako Bull Energy Cola
6. Barako Bull Energy Cola
7. Globalport Batang Pier
8. Alaska Aces
9. Rain or Shine Elastopainters
10. San Mig Coffee Mixers
11. Globalport Batang Pier
12. Rain or Shine Elastopainters
13. San Mig Coffee Mixers
14. Barako Bull Energy Cola
15. Air 21 Express*
16. Alaska Aces*
17. Talk n’ Text Tropang Texters
18. Alaska Aces
19. Rain or Shine Elastopainters
20. Barako Bull Energy Cola
*Alaska and Air 21 can change places prior to an earlier trade agreement