Terrafirma didn’t hesitate to pick Filipino-American Stephen Holt as its top pick but Blackwater and Rain or Shine came up with big surprises with their selections during Sunday’s Philippine Basketball Association Rookie Draft at the Market! Market! in Taguig.
Though he was not present during the event, Holt, a 6-4 guard who played for the Canton Charge in the G League, expressed his excitement over his selection and affirmed his readiness to play in the fast-approaching PBA season that will hit the ground running on 5 November.
“It’s definitely one of my goals in my career. I’m now trying to pursue my PBA dreams,” said the 31-year-old Holt.
“I had a long career playing in Europe, but now the opportunity was presented to me when I got the Philippine passport. I’m a two-way player. I’m a well-known shooter, can get rebounds and can go to the basket,” he added.
But Blackwater pulled off a big surprise by picking 6-foot-6 forward Christian David as the No. 2 pick overall.
David didn’t take part in the Draft Combine, but worked out with the Bossing and the Elasto Painters, leaving head coach Jeff Cariaso convinced that he is the guy the team badly needs to alter its fortunes.
The Elasto Painters struck again and took 6-foot-7 Luis Villegas, a former player of University of the East, at No. 3 and 6-foot-8 center Keith Datu, a standout from the PBA 3 x 3 tournament.
In the second round, Rain or Shine picked another promising big man in Henry Galinato but the Elasto Painters decided to ship him to TNT for the Tropang Giga’s first round pick for the 50th Season.
TNT doesn’t own a pick in the first and second round and decided to pass in the third round as soon as they were able to secure the services of Galinato, a 6-foot-6 banger who had a one-and-done deal with UP.
Rounding out the top five was Xavier Lucero, chosen by NorthPort to help shore up its front court.
The former University of the Philippines standout was also not present but joined the Draft straight from his home in Vallejo, California.
Other players selected in the first round were Ken Tuffin (sixth, Phoenix), Richie (seventh, NLEX), Brandon Bates (eighth, Meralco), Schonny Winston (ninth, Converge), BJ Andrade (10th, Converge), Cade Flores (11th, NorthPort) and Taylor Miller (12th, Terrafirma).