A HANDFUL of talented players made Wednesday’s deadline for application for the PBA draft, but apparently none big enough to tickle Rain or Shine’s fancy.
Unlike last year’s draft pool loaded with big men led by Greg Slaughter, Ian Sangalang and eventual Rain or Shine No. 3 pick Raymund Almazan, this year’s class has mostly guards and wingmen.
PBA D-League stars from NLEX led by Jake Pascual, Kevin Alas, Fil-Am forward Matt Ganuelas Rosser and gunner Ronald Pascual were among the late entrants and Painters coach Yeng Guiao, who had made it clear his team needs another big man, hints it will be a while until they can make a decision on who to pick at No. 2.
From the record pool of 95 applicants, Pascual, formerly of San Beda and NLEX, appears to be the best big man available, although at 6-4 he clearly isn't the type of dominant big man Guiao is looking for.
Guiao, however, is keeping his options open.
“We have no pressure to decide immediately on who to pick in the rookie draft. Basta sa amin, if there’s a big man available, or a big wingman, then we’ll see, kasi nami-mismatch kami in those positions,” Guiao told Spin.ph.
Rain or Shine picks second in the August 24 draft behind GlobalPort, which has declared a month ago that it intends to make Fil-Am guard Stanley Pringle the top pick.
The Elasto Painters also own the ninth pick in the first round.
“Basta sa amin, after the 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline, kung sino ang papasok, pag-uusapan pa namin 'yan with management and coaching staff, either late this week or early next week,” he said.
“More or less, yun naman (NLEX players) ang ina-anticipate natin.”
Guiao maintained that team’s position that everybody is dispensable at this point, not even combo guard Paul Lee, whose contract is set to expire at the end of the month.
“But we don’t need to hurry. We can sit around and even wait for offers, tutal Sunday pa naman ang draft,” added the fiery Rain or Shine mentor.
Rain or Shine is coming off a franchise-best 37-24 win-loss record in the 2013 PBA season, which saw the team co-owned by Terry Que and Raymund Yu finish with two runner-up trophies in the Philippine Cup and Governors Cup, respectively.