Christian, Kiefer, Jeron will be picks 1-2-3, find out Fastbreak’s choices in 2017 draft
It’s time of the year again when these hopeful cagers get a chance to fulfill their life-long dream. It’s also the time of the year where 12 PBA teams hope of hanging their fortune or boosting their loaded stock from what is arguably the richest draft pool in years.
Our crew at Fastbreak sat down last night to put pen to paper our own predictions in this year’s PBA Draft based on the players’ performance, skills, and how they’ll fit into the team’s system or whether they were the best talent available or whether they have the potential to grow into a starter.
So, game on:
1. Christian Standhardinger (SMB) – Now that SMB had officialy acquired the first pick over KIA, they can now create a counterpart to Ginebra’s “Twin Tower” with Fajardo and Standhardinger. The Fil-German cager has shown flashes of his dominance in the shaded area during his stint with Gilas. He can average a double-double in any given time and also has an above-average I.Q and court awareness for a bi gman.
2. Kiefer Ravena (NLEX) – The Phenom isn’t the Draft Combine MVP without a reason. Aside from being a prolific scorer, Ravena is a true leader who can also defend and make his teammates better. If NLEX will trade one or two of their guards, Ravena will flourish under Yeng Guiao.
3. Jeron Teng (Blackwater) – No doubt this guy can score at least 18-20 points per game especially during his playing years with La Salle, but Teng also has the playmaking ability when despite being too ball-dominant. He is also a good rebounder for his 6-foot-1 size and provides gritty defense on his matchup. Just wait for Mac Belo to fully recover from his injury and you now have a unique deadly wing duo.
4. Raymar Jose (Phoenix)- Jose proved himself in the D-League and Gilas wars as a reliable anchor in the paint with his rebounding and rim defense. The former Tamaraw can also clog passing lanes on defense and also hit the jumper on the other end.
5. Robbie Herndon (Alaska) – Probably this year’s draft sleeper, Herndon is a wingman who can light up from deep and attack ferociously from the basket. He is also capable of defending multiple positions despite being undersized, and he can learn how to hustle defensively from his fellow wingmen, Calvin Abueva.
6. Davon Potts (Globalport)- This Red Lion has evolved from being just a scorer to an all-around player. His recent D-League stint with Cignal proved he can rebound, defend and pass as well. Potts can be a potential third-option in the scoring department behind Pringle and Romeo.
7. Rey Nambatac (ROS)- This 5’11 top gun opted out of the draft last season to play his final year in Letran. Now, the sharp-shooting Nambatac will use his flawless playmaking and “take over” attitude to thrive in the league. He has to improve his speed to match the PBA’s speedy guards. Luckily, this will be a chance for Nambatac to reunite with his former mentor in Letran, Caloy Garcia, who now calls the shot for Rain or Shine.
8. Lervin Flores (Phoenix)- Energy and athleticism is the name of the game for Flores. He is a traditional big man who can grab multiple rebounds and protect the rim as well. His low-post game and mid-range skills might be underrated, but his finishing ability during his stay with Arellano Chiefs is what makes him a unique prospect that Phoenix should bank on this upcoming Sunday.
9. Sidney Onwubere (Star)- Onwubere has evolved his game in EAC Generals from a traditional 4 guy to versatile stretch forward. He can shoot from beyond the arc and creates mismatch from both ends which makes him a matchup nightmare. He only needs to work on his quickness for him to pick-up on smaller players, but he can be a solid wing player for Star who badly needs a small forward.
10. Jason Perkins (TNT)- Perkins has the unbelievable combination of size and speed. He is also a deadly shooter and an edacious rebounder that teams might put him higher in the draft. But with his size, Perkins is not a post-up player and foul prone. However, he could also fill the gap that RDO left in TNT alongside Troy Rosario.
11. Jett Manuel (Ginebra) – This former UP Maroon is the sharpest shooter of this year’s draft class. His defense is still unripe for the league but Manuel has shown improvement from being just a one-dimensional player. If ever The Fast and Furious will call it quits for good, he might step up at any given time.
12. Julian Sargent (TNT)- Sargent is a combo guard who has a high motor skills and top notch defense. His quickness? Absolutely phenomenal. He can defend the perimeter thanks to his agility and size. His perimeter shooting remains a suspect, however, but Sargent can improve his touches on a consistent basis especially that TNT thrives on perimeter game and outside shooting.
13. Zach Nicholls (NLEX) – This Fil-Canadian sniper does not only boast his shooting ability, but he can also be relied on burying clutch treys in the late period. Nichols also has a high motor skills and above-average quickness, although he still needs to learn how to attack the basket and finish from inside.
14. Jon Gabriel (Star) – Gabriel maybe the best defensive player in this year’s draft class, although his offensive game still has a lot of work to do. His shot-blocking and length can bring teams a much-needed boost on the defensive end.
15. Joseph Gabayni (Blackwater)- Another Extra Rice Inc. bigman is entering the PBA, and coincidentally, he also has a soft touches from inside and outside the paint. Although his weight affects his quickness and motor, he sure knows how to use his body to defend and bruise inside the paint.
16. John Grospe (Star)- this former JRU Bomber has a decent perimeter jumper. He can also easily adapt to a system and provide instant offense if teams want to spark a run to pull away or pull within an opposing team.
17. Thomas Torres (SMB)- A good system player who can adapt offensively. Torres is a gifted playmaker who can also shoot from the rainbow country. He might struggle at first due to surplus of point guards in PBA, but he can provide quality plays off the bench.
18. Louie Vigil (Alaska)- During his UST playing days, Vigil was more of a perimeter shooter with great on-ball defense. He most improved in his defense during the Draft Combine, while also showcasing his offensive guns.
19. Renz Palma (ROS)- Despite of his 5-foot-11 frame, Palma is a tenacious highflyer who isn’t afraid to go hard attacking the basket. Despite lacking playmaking skills, he can use his slashing ability to attract defenders and create opportunities to his teammates.
20. Gwyne Capacio (Star)- This former Blue Eagle is a great defender and has a decent long-range jumper. His length can be essential to teams and his attitude towards the game will surely be of a factor as well.
21.) Jom Sollano (Phoenix)- Undersized at the center position, Sollano can defend big guys especially imports during his stint with the Letran Knights. His post-game might be a liability but he can be relied on the mid-range area. He only needs to gain more muscles to keep up with the veteran centers in the pro.
22. Chris de Chavez (TNT)- Another former Blue Eagle, de Chavez can play at least three positions from the two to the four. With his height and range, de Chavez can easily adapt in today’s game a.k.a the dawn of the stretch fours.
23. Andreas Cahilig (Globalport)- A point-forward who can fill up the stat sheets at any given time. Cahilig can create mismatches at the guard position especially with his 6-foot-3 frame, and at the same time his handles are above-average for a small forward.
24. Mac Tallo (Phoenix) – His strengths include a reliable midrange jumper, a great passer and a decent defender. Tallo will have to work for his minutes in the PBA, a league with a surplus of guards.
Like Kevin Durant once said, “hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard”. Best of luck to all these applicants, and may they heard themselves being called on stage.