POTENTIAL top overall pick CJ Rosario and other incoming rookies get a chance to showcase their talent in the 1stPhilippine Superliga (PSL) Rookie Camp on Tuesday at the Fil-Oil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Rosario, the 6-foot-1 former NCAA MVP who saw action for Petron in the PSL Invitationals, will lead the hopefuls in a grueling four-hour camp that aims to give coaches and team owners a good idea on their potential before the league holds its 3rd Annual Rookie Draft on Friday at the 3rd floor lobby of SM Aura in Taguig.
If she does become the top pick overall, Rosario will be putting one over older brother Troy who was picked No. 2 overall behind Tropang TNT teammate Moala Tauauaa in the last PBA rookie draft.
Former national team mentor Sammy Acaylar of Cignal will be the drillmaster while coaches Kungfu Reyes of RC Cola-Army, George Pascua of Petron, Francis Vicente of Generika, Ramil de Jesus of F2 Logistics, Nene Ybanez of Standard Insurance-Navy, Ken Moleno of Perpetual and Villet Ponce-de Leon of Foton will act as observers, together with their respective team owners.
After the drills, incoming rookies will engage in a friendly match against the stars of the league led by Rachel Anne Daquis, Aby Marano, Cha Cruz, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Ces Molina, Maika Ortiz and Rhea Dimaculangan.
The camp will start at 1 p.m. and will be open to fans.
“We want to make it easier for coaches and team owners to decide,” said PSL president Ramon “Tats” Susana, who just arrived from Tokyo after serving as control committee member in the FIVB Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
“But more than anything, this camp will give players a chance to showcase their skills and talents and gain confidence before our annual rookie draft on Friday. This is our way to discover the future stars of the league.”
Aside from Rosario, La Salle superstar Ara Galang is also expected to play her rookie season in the PSL.
Although she remains doubtful in joining the draft as she has yet to earn her degree in Entrepreneurship, she might be taken as a direct hire of F2 Logistics, which will parade the nucleus of the Lady Spikers like Mika Reyes, Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy, Cyd Demecillo, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili.
The Lady Spikers will not go through the draft because they already saw action in the import-flavored PSL Grand Prix last year.
RC Cola-Army owns the top overall pick followed by Generika, Perpetual, Standard Insurance-Navy, F2 Logistics, Cignal, Petron and Foton.
But the draft order is not yet cast in stone as teams will have a trading period starting 12 noon on Tuesday up to the draft proper.
“We know that the level of competition had already increased and everybody is eager to have a very strong roster. With that, we will give teams an ample time to tweak their respective lineups prior to the draft day on Friday,” Suzara said.
Also tipped to be taken in the first round are former Arellano stars Danna Henson and Angelica Legacion as well as former Davao standout Mary Grace Berte and former National University playmaker Jocelyn Soliven.
Renelyn Raterta, Sarina Bulan, Christine Suyao, Marlyn Llagoso, Jerra Mae Pacinio, Gen Casugod, Jonafer San Pedro, Kristine Dave, Loraine Palomar, Eloisa Medina, Sheryl Laborte, Lourdes Patilano and Suzette Salas are also expected to get prominent draft positions.