It’s still early but I’m making a mock draft for next year to gauge how deep the draft will be. It will not be as deep as this year but still has marquee names like Gabe Norwood and Jason Castro to make it interesting. The draft order is based on this year’s order (of course it could change next year depending on the performance of each team this year, but with the prospect of Harbour Centre joining the league it could throw off my draft projections in great disarray if and when the team decides to elevate the likes of Jason Castro and Fil-Am Nick Stephens).
Here how it goes:
1) Welcoat – Gabe Norwood (6-5 G-F George Mason University). Unless the Dragons trade this pick, they have a good chance to land this pick if and only if Devance turns out to be a dud this year (highly unlikely). Norwood is the lottery prize for the team who will win the number one spot next year and without question the most talented player on this list. He can play 1-2-3 spots with equal ease. He is athletic, can score (inside or out), rebound, and bring the ball down). A superstar waiting to unravel.
2) Air21 (via Coca Cola in the Mark Telan trade) – Jason Castro (5-9 G Philippine Christian University). After Norwood, it is suddenly a wide open race for the number 2 spot. The Express will draft the most talented player left – Jason Castro. Castro is a do-everything guard who can score, rebound, pass, defend and make plays on the floor. Air21 already has Marvin Cruz but they can’t afford to pass up a talent like Castro.
3) Sta. Lucia – Nick Stephens (6-5 F Holy Names University). The Realtors continue their Fil-am binge that started with the drafting of Kelly Williams two years ago, and the selection of Ryan Reyes this year. Stephens uses brute force to score inside the shaded lane. He also has a touch from the three-point range. With Reyes, Williams and Stephens, the Realtors could finally get back to the road of respectability.
4) Air21 – Roel Hugnatan (6-4 F Adamson University). This will be the second pick of the Express and needing size will likely go with the best big man available – Roel Hugnatan. Hugnatan is taking the path where his older Reynel Hugnatan left off. He is among the UAAP leaders in points and rebounds and could well be among the top big men in the pool with a continued strong showing this year. He is, like his brother, a bruiser underneath. They have very similar game but could well turn out to be better player because he is still young and will continue to improve.
5) Purefoods – Mark Borboran (6-3 F University of the East). The Giants have always longed for a legit small forward on the team following Eugene Tejada’s career-ending injury two years ago. Borboran played power forward on the undersized UE frontcourt but could make a swift transition to the small forward position in the pros with his quickness and versatile game. He is very athletic and can score inside and out.
6) Alaska – Patrick Cabahug (6-2 G-F Adamson University). Jeffrey Cariaso is not getting any younger and this maybe the time the Aces will search for his heir apparent. Cabahug has the bloodlines (Uncle Elmer was a former Alaska player), the right connection (assistant coach Luigi Trillo was his former coach at Adamson, and Ken Bono is a former teammate), and the game to be successful at the next level. Cabahug may be the best shooter to come down the pike in years.
7) Red Bull – Larry Rodriguez (6-4 F Philippine Maritime Institute). Red Bull has always made good draft selections in the past and next year may not be any different. The Barakos’ search for a replacement to Enrico Villanueva could well stop in the vicinity of ex-Philippine Maritime Institute standout. Rodriguez was a former PBL top overall pick and also played in the URBL and the MVBA. Don’t let his lithe frame fool you, he is one of amateur basketball’s best rebounders and shotblockers. He is low post operator who also has a soft touch from mid-range.
8) Talk N Text – James Francisco (6-3 G Chaminade University). The Phonepals are at least two-deep in every position will take the best available player route. Francisco is a very big guard who was “developed” overseas. The high-scoring Francisco is a great shooter from deep and could instantly heat up like his 43-point explosion in a high school game.
9) San Miguel – Lawrence Bonus (6-7 C University of Manila) The Beermen need more size to its injury-riddle frontcourt and could well look in the direction of the vastly-improved Lawrence Bonus of Henkel Sista. Bonus was the PBL’s most improved player last tourney. He is still rather thin but has great potential to be a “player” someday. He has a nice shooting touch from mid-range and will sky high for a dunk on breakaways.
10) Brgy Ginebra – Floyd Dedicatoria (6-4 F Jose Rizal University). The loss of Rudy Hatfield could very well hurt the Gin Kings’ campaign this year. Hatfield is blue collar worker who positions himself well on the boards and isn’t afraid to mix it up underneath. Dedicatoria has the same qualities and probably more. He is a great rebounder and is a low post scorer.
11) Welcoat – Jeff Chan (6-3 F-G Far Eastern University). It’s highly unthinkable that Jeff Chan drops this far. Chan is a great shooter and defender. He loves to play in the clutch and can also score on drives and pull ups.
12) Air21 – Bonbon Custodio (5-11 G University of the East). Bonbon is an ultra-athletic guard who may be a fit with the Express’ running game. Custodio was the lead point guard for the Warriors until his banishment from the team. He can score with the best, is one of the best rebounders at his position and can shoot from afar.
13) Sta. Lucia – Jeff Dosado (5-9 G American International). The Realtors have fell in love with Fil-Ams. They lost Alex Cabagnot last year in a trade with Coca-Cola but Jeff Dosado will make them forget that. Dosado is a great shooter and a playmaker who could form a solid 1-2 punch in the backcourt with Ryan Reyes.
14) Air21 – Ronnie Matias (6-4 F Adamson University). Many were surprised with Ronnie Matias’ surprising showing in the PBL last tourney with Harbour Centre. Matias loves to work in the low post. He has great footwork and is not afraid to mix it up inside. Matias played in the NBC for the Iligan Crusaders but it was not until he played in the PBL (for Henkel Sista) that he really shone.
15) Purefoods – Jason Ballesteros (6-6 San Sebastian College). He made drastic improvement in his game in the last PBL tourney and if he continues to do that, he will find himself back to draft contention. Ballesteros is a rebounding machine who is still considered a project by many. He has an improving low post game and could give the Giants the size that it needs at the backup center position.
16) Alaska – TY Tang (5-8 G De la Salle University). The Aces need another point guard to back up Mike Cortez as Dale Singson is near the twilight of his career. Tang is a pure playmaker who was a celebrated high school player prior to his stint with the Green Archers. He can shoot, dish and be a leader on the floor.
17) Red Bull – Conrad Fritz Bauzon (6-1 G Perpetual Help) – Bauzon is a shooter and a darn good one at that. He is like a microwave who heats up pretty quick and when he’s on the zone, he’s virtually impossible to stop. He played for Henkel-Sista in the PBL last tourney and was a instant
18) Talk N Text – Jim Bruce Viray (6-3 F San Sebastian College). Viray has a very deep range on his jumper. He is like Talk N Text rookie Yousif Aljamal who can play inside and outside.
19) San Miguel – Nestor David (6-3 F University of the Philippines). The Beermen are already loaded at the guard position but may need to inject some youth and freshness to its frontcourt. David is not your typical post man. He is quite undersized at the power forward position and has virtually no perimeter game nor the quickness to be able to slide to the swing positions. David is a bruiser who will challenge big men inside for the position and the rebounds.
20) Brgy Ginebra – Julius Cumlat (5-9 G Holy Names University). Cumlat is a teammate of Harbour Centre’s Nick Stephens on the Holy Names varsity. He is a pure point guard who lead the school in assists. Cumlat could be a nice replacement to aging guard Johnny Abarrientos.
Other mock drafts for years 2009-2012 will follow.