With the 2018 PBA Draft finally done with, it’s time to take a step back by looking at each team’s picks. How did each team do? Could they have done better with who they chose? Here are the Draft Grades for each team’s haul:
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Trades involving Draft Picks haven’t been taken into consideration unless officially announced by the PBA.)
Picks: CJ Perez, JP Calvo, Cyrus Tabi, Teytey Teodoro, Oliver Arim
The Dyip needed a franchise player who could score, and they just got that, and them some. CJ Perez is the type of prospect who fits their unconventional style of play as of late, while also providing the group with the scoring punch they’ve lacked since then. Calvo is a welcome addition as well, giving the Dyip a reliable point guard to go to whenever pressing defenses are thrown at them. Nothing too crazy with what Columbian did, but not a bad group of rookies.
Picks: Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Diego Dario, Dan Alberto, Chris Dela Pena
It’s really tricky to grade Blackwater at this point. Strictly looking at their draft choices alone, they actually did really well. Bobby Ray Parks Jr. is the kind of perimeter player that would fit really well with Poy Erram and Mac Belo. Diego Dario is a welcome addition to the Blackwater backcourt with his infectious energy. That sounds all and well for a franchise that’s slowly about to make a leap.
However, that’s the thing: it only SOUNDS all and well. Reports of trades involving Erram and Parks make it difficult to feel hopeful about Blackwater’s prospects moving forward. For the mean time, however, we’ll give them a solid grade for their picks.
NorthPort Batang Pier
Picks: Robert Bolick, Edrian Lao, Jeremiah Taladua, John Ragasa
NorthPort needed another guard to pair with Stanley Pringle, and they got their guy! That’s all the Batang Pier needed to do, not overthink their pick and get the next best guy behind Parks and Perez. That’s obviously Robert Bolick, renowned Point Gawd, the ball screen maestro out of San Beda ready to learn from the best of them. Coach Pido Jarencio is going to love Bolick’s feistiness.
NLEX Road Warriors
Picks: Paul Desiderio, Abu Tratter, Kris Porter, Kyles Lao, Dan Wong
Let the fun begin! Out of nowhere, the Road Warriors drafted Paul Desiderio with their fourth pick, to the surprise not only of the viewing public, but even Desiderio himself. Others viewed it as a tricky move since they needed a big to add some youth to their front court. Their strategy of going with the hot name paid off once they got their hands on Abu Tratter with the seventh pick.
Granted, Tratter and Desiderio are reportedly in the talks for a swap involving Blackwater’s Erram. There are questions yet to be answered. But no matter what, NLEX emerges as big winners here for their solid draft strategy.
Picks: Trevis Jackson, Bong Quinto, Steven Cudal
Meralco’s choice of Trevis Jackson was interesting to say the least, but in hindsight considering everything that’s been happening, it makes sense. They still need size up front, but with Baser Amer reportedly on his way out with a trade involving Blackwater’s Bobby Ray Parks, getting the combo guard out of the draft only made sense.
But the real golden pick Meralco got was Bong Quinto. They probably did not even expect Quinto to fall their way in the second round, but with multiple teams passing up on him, he was there. That’s one talented forward you’re pairing up with Jackson, Chris Newsome, and possibly, Bobby Ray Parks. Exciting times for the Bolts.
Rain or Shine Elastopainters
Picks: Javee Mocon, JJay Alejandro, Paul Varilla, Robbie Manalang, Harold Ng, Kent Lao, Al Josef Cariaga
Talk about having a bevy of picks. There will be arguments about them possibly choosing Bong Quinto over Paul Varilla, but Rain or Shine did alright in this draft. They get an athletic, pro-ready forward in Javee Mocon, while JJay Alejandro is the type of combo guard who could contribute in an instant in lieu of Chris Tiu. Even Robbie Manalang, as undersized as he may be, is a quality pick up. This was a great draft by the Elastopainters.
Picks: Jesper Ayaay, GBoy Babilonia
This was interesting by the Aces. Picking up GBoy Babilonia is definitely understandable considering Alaska’s need for size, but choosing Jesper Ayaay over Bong Quinto at that stage of the draft confused a lot. Maybe the Aces brass knows something we don’t, so for now, we bask in the confusion and wait to be proven wrong by Alaska’s draft day moves.
Picks: Michael Calisaan, Jeepy Faundo
Questions about opting to skip on Bong Quinto continue to linger even with the Hotshots. But there is no doubting the talent of Michael Calisaan as a scoring forward. Jeepy Faundo is also quite the underrated pickup, one of the better big men in this crop with his length and motor around the rim. Not bad, Magnolia.
Phoenix Fuel Masters
Picks: Jorey Napoles, Ron Dennison, Joe Trinidad, Ivan Villanueva, Kim Cinco
Technically, Phoenix already filled whatever they needed by trading away their fourth pick for Dave Marcelo and Alex Mallari. However, getting Draft Combine darling Jorey Napoles and former Tamaraw Ron Dennison are welcome additions to Coach Louie Alas’ squad. Dennison and Abueva in one team. That’s going to be chaos for opposing teams on defense.
Picks: Jeffrey Ongteco, CJ Isit
San Miguel Beermen
Picks: Ryan Monteclaro
We’ll clump both the Beermen and KaTropa into one section for this piece, since in the first place, no one really expected them to pick anyone significant for their case. They can’t really be graded them for these picks, considering their composition, and the type of talent they have on their rosters right now.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel
Picks: Matt Salem
This was a surprising pick by Barangay, and the good kind. The other teams, for some reason, seemingly forgot about Salem, and the Barangay opted to pick him up. No matter what happens, they get a proven shooter who has been taking strides to expand his game as he transitions into the wing position. For a guy projected to go into the second round to drop their way at #32 is a big win for Ginebra.