Philippines, 29 Feb 2024
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Winners and losers in recent PBA drafts

While the Magnolia Hotshots are trying to end their best-of-seven PBA Governors? Cup title series with the Alaska Aces on Monday night and the latter attempting to live another day by extending the gold medal play to the distance, attention is focused on what happened on the league?s drafting season last Sunday and beyond.

As in all activities in professional sports, there are losers and winners that emerged.

By the looks of it, perennial dormant Columbian Dyip emerged the biggest winner in the just-ended derby with its selection of no less than the No. 1 pick CJ Perez as the team?s potential marquee player.

And as if choosing the former NCAA MVP wasn?t enough, the franchise, likewise, drafted JP Calvo plus three other rookie picks ? Cyrus Tabi, Rey Teodoro and Oliver Arim -- to make wider room for improvement

With those outstanding ex-amateurs in the fold, it?s not surprising for fans to expect the Columbian side to make it, this time, to the playoffs.

San Miguel Beer, exercising its business reputation as a buyer, selected only Ran Monteclaro as its third round pick, but in addition, took sweet shooting Terence Romeo and multi-talented Paul Zamar as well as prodigal son Ronald Tubid from the trading market.

The move, definitely, translated its already all-star line up to a super-duper roster, especially in the All-Filipino where the Beermen are the four-time defending champions.

The Blackwater Elite finally advanced to the playoff in this the season-ending conference, and to maintain that momentum, hauled down Diego Dario, Dan Alberto and Chris dela Pena from the draft.

The Dioceldo Sy-owned franchise will be disposing off big man JP Erram, another draftee, Ray Parks, and Zamar, in a ?one step backward, to steps forward move Blackwater appears, too, as winner with the acquisition of Paul Desiderio, Abu Tratter, Jericho Cruz and Brian Heruela, through trade.

Mr. Sy, as he himself admitted, is going all-out on Desiderio as to bring his fighting spirit to Blackwater. Erram and Zamar were vital cogs in the team?s reaching the playoffs in the PBA Governors Cup as well as No. 2 pic Parks, but the move isn't that bad, in the long run.

With Desiderio, fellow rookie Abu Tratter and trade recruits Cruz and Heruela bolstering a core that includes Mac Belo, Mike DiGregorio and Allein Maliksi, the Elite have a team capable of pulling off surprises next season.

The NLEX Road Warriors drafted Kris Porter, Kyles Lao, Dan Wong and what looked a perfect game plan of coach Yeng Guiao is the taking of Erram, who feisty mentor, has long been wanting to augment the Road Warriors? needs inside the paint.

Erram?s presence, indeed, gives coach Guiao the big man he has long craved for, but that, however, created a big hole in the guard rotation with Kevin Alas still on his way to recovery from his ACL injury and Kiefer Ravena's Fiba-imposed 18-month ban yet to end.

It?s sill a win-loss situation, though, for the Road Warriors.

The Meralco Bolts?coach Norman Black chose Trevis Jackson in fifth overall, Bong Quinto and Steven Cudal from the draft, but failed to add size to his team that, like NLEX, badly needs a big man on the slot.

Jeepy Faundo could have been a good choice to partner with his brother Bryan although making a run for Parks, son of long-time partnet, the late Bobby Parks, showed coach Norman is looking to a brighter future.

TNT KaTropa barely made a noise during the draft, opting for JR Ongteco and CJ Isit to cover the expected loss Romeo although the team has something to look forward to in acquiring David Semerad, Baser Amer from the market.

The acquisition of Amer from sister team Meralco could eventually be a silver lining as the move gives Jayson Castro an able backcourt partner for the upcoming season.

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters picked seven ? repeat seven ? from the draft, the most by any team in the 12-team field -- Javee Mocon, J-Jay Alejandro, Paul Varilla, Robbie Manalang, Harold Ng, Kent Lao, Job Cariaga.

Just what the Elasto Painters are trying to prove, nobody knows. Except for first-round choices Mocon and Alejandro, nothing is guaranteed for the other Elasto Painters draftees. Which makes the question all the more relevant: what was Rain or Shine trying to accomplish?

Except to be the biggest loser.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.

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