Oct. 18, 2016
2016 Gilas Draft - Team Grade
The draft is over, the Gilas prospects of each team is determined. Who made the right choice and who made a questionable one?
It is time to grade them! And because we do not have the official draft order, I can only grade the fit of the player for the present and the future of the franchise.
Alaska- Carl Bryan Cruz 6'5
Cruz will not be able to play the Center but his presence should be load up their frontline. With him, Alaska will be more able to withstand injuries to Abueva and Manuel. Actually, Alaska can now try a small-ball line-up because Cruz has the heft to play the C for a short period and can shoot from the outside. He is a good prospect and can help right away.
Ginebra- Kevin Ferrer 6'5
Kevin Ferrer is an excellent prospect. He has been playing the wing position from the get go so he doesn't need to adjust. With that experience, Ferrer can even play the SG position. With the age of Mark Caguioa and Sol Mercado, Ferrer will be their SG of the near future. He will also help them with their outside shooting woes.
Blackwater- Mac Belo 6'3
I will be honest to say that early into the draft process, I did not saw any #1 pick standout. But as go much deeper into the pool, it was obvious that Belo is the best of the bunch. I think, he checks all the boxes from being clutch up to being a good guy in the locker room.
GlobalPort- Von Pessumal 6'2
I am suspecting the Batang Pier to play majority of each game with three guards in the floor. That can work if the right scheme is played. Assuming that is the plan, Von will still be an excess in the rotation. The good news is he is still very young at 25 years old and his shooting is already polished. The fact that he will be called up to the Gilas team during the season is a good thing for the loaded rotation and for his development.
Mahindra- Russell Escoto 6'6
The plan of Mahindra is much clearer now. The Enforcers will be playing a drive-heady scheme for the upcoming season and Escoto will try to fill the spot of Ramos. He may not do that right away but he has the potential to do it in the future. He still needs a lot of work and that should be fine within the timeline of the Enforcers.
Meralco- Ed Daquioag 6'0
The acquisition of Joseph Yeo lowered the grade for this one. As of now, Ed is a one trick pony, he is a slasher. He is not above average in any other thing and with a new slasher in Yeo, he will not be needed soon. Looking in the future, Ed has the potential to rise up in the rotation and build a scary and very athletic combo with Chris Newsome.
NLEX- Alfonso Gotladera 6'6
Coach Yeng Guiao is seems to be looking to create a new Extra Rice Inc. and there is no better guy to get than Gotladera. NLEX has a pretty old frontline and the 10 foot midrange jumper of Ponso will be a good wrinkle to their offense. With Coach Yeng and Asi Taulava there, I am willing to bet that Ponso could be the best player out of this draft, five years from now.
Phoenix- Matthew Wright 6'4
Coach Ariel Vanguardia is very familiar with what Matthew can bring and they are familiar with each other. His shooting will bode well with the most three-point crazy team in the league. I think, he is their first building block and he is a forward which is also a plus.
Rain or Shine- Mike Tolomia 5'11
I don't expect coach Garcia to be as balance in his minutes distribution as coach Yeng Guiao so Mike could be playing less minutes than expected. It could be great if he can develop good chemistry with Ahanmisi and Cruz because they will surely be playing front and behind with each in the years to come.
Smb- Arnold Van Opstal 6'9
San Miguel is so loaded in every position that they just need to pick a player with a high ceiling. And they did. Yancy and Reyes are still the better choices as Fajardo's back-up for the upcoming season but with good guidance and mentorship, AVO will get that job as early as 2017.
Star- Jiovani Jalalon 5'10
The Hotshots started to make the trades to reduced their guard depth but still, Jiovani will be in for a long struggle for playing time. RR Garcia, Mark Barroca and Paul Lee are very good guards and when you added another one, trust me, it is not a good problem. There are these so called pride and confidence that will be hit if a player is not getting the right amount of minutes that he deserves. If they continue to keep the four of them, it can turn ugly during the season.
Tnt- Roger Pogoy 6'2
Pogoy and TNT is a perfect marriage. Roger's former coach will be his head coach in TNT and he will be filling the need of TNT in the wings. With his high basketball IQ and shooting, coach Nash could give him an important role right away.