Big Winners in the PBA Season 48th Rookie Draft
Several notable winners emerged from the PBA Season 48th Rookie Draft, as clubs wisely picked talented players to enhance their squads for the upcoming season. Here’s a deeper look at the teams and players that did well on draft night:
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Rain or Shine
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters were among the greatest victors in the PBA Season 48 Rookie Draft. With consecutive first-round picks, they made a wise decision by picking two excellent big men: Luis Villegas, a UAAP Mythical Five awardee, and Keith Datu. In addition, they gained another significant asset for the future by obtaining Henry Galinato in the second round to trade him to TNT for a future first-round choice. Rain or Shine also made late-round picks in Adrian Nocum and Sherwin Concepcion, cementing their team for the upcoming seasons.
Phoenix Super LPG
The Phoenix Fuel Masters also had a great draft night, tactically bringing players with various skill sets. They added Kenneth Tuffin, primarily considered the draft’s most excellent shooter, who might fill the vacuum created by Matthew Wright’s departure. Phoenix also selected Ricci Rivero at No. 17, Raffy Verano, John Lloyd Clemente, and Matthew Daves, all of whom had successful collegiate careers.
Northport Batang Pier
Northport Batang Pier had a considerable impression in the draft by picking 11 players. Among their notable selections was 6-foot-6 star Zavier Lucero from the University of the Philippines, who is anticipated to improve their frontline once he recovers from an ACL injury. Northport also added depth to their squad by acquiring NCAA Rookie of the Year Cade Flores, Brent Paraiso, and Fran Yu, who all played critical roles on Letran’s championship teams.
Terrafirma took a bold move by picking Stephen Holt, widely considered one of the draft’s most outstanding prospects. Taylor Miller, who has exceptional NCAA Division II credentials, was also added. Another crucial addition to their squad was Louie Sangalang, a pivotal player in Letran’s NCAA title campaigns. Terrafirma also addressed their need for size by bringing in Kemark Carino, who met Head Coach John Cardel’s specifications.
Schonny Winston, who was expected to be a first-round choice, ended up with Converge at No. 9. Despite falling in the draft, he joins a playoff-contending club that may benefit from his unique skill set and can make a huge impact.
Players from the Philippines and New Zealand
Fil-New Zealand players performed admirably in the draft, going 3-for-3. Kenneth Tuffin, whom Phoenix chose, was joined by Patrick Maagdenberg, whom Magnolia selected, and Ritchie Rodger, whom NLEX chose. These players had 3×3 and 5-on-5 basketball experience with the Tall Blacks and the New Zealand Pro League.
Foreign Players from the Philippines
In this draft, the PBA loosened its rules for Foreign players, resulting in 31 candidates and a flood of talent. Almost all first-round picks were Fil-foreigners, demonstrating the league’s receptivity to players from varied basketball backgrounds.
Players having a History of Injuries
Injuries encouraged clubs to pick excellent young players. Christian David, who had previously fought an ACL injury, was chosen second overall, displaying the clubs’ faith in his ability. Similarly, recovering from injuries, Luis Villegas and Zav Lucero were picked high, signaling teams’ intentions to incorporate them once fully recovered.
For promising players, the PBA 3×3 proved an excellent road to the PBA. Rain or Shine selected Keith Datu, who developed his talents in the 3×3 format. Their respective clubs also drafted other 3×3 players, such as Dominick Fajardo, Kim Aurin, and Ralph Cu.
Kyt Jimenez, the internet star, was picked at No. 76 by the fearsome San Miguel Beermen. Notably, he can fight for a roster place and play alongside his idol, Terrence Romeo, demonstrating the PBA draft’s unique and inclusive character.
Overall, the PBA Season 48 Rookie Draft saw a diverse group of quality players and clubs make intelligent decisions to ensure their long-term success.
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