This is an article that can easily anger you or appease you. The articles will be a sharing of some of my opinions and conclusions in the happenings around the league. I will try to minimize using numbers, as much as possible. So, will you agree with my takes or do you want to argue with me? If you want to argue, the comment box below is there for you. Here are my takes, enjoy!
Kobe Caluya disrespected the league Hear me out here. The issue surrounding a 43 years old, who is part of the draft pool, is a two-edged sword. First, I respect Kobe Caluya for his courage and love for the game that even with his age, he tried to achieve it. The way I read it, he is the first person to do this one. So, hats off Mr. Caluya!
But in the flip side, it was a disrespect to the league too. Why? We are talking about a professional league here where the top ballers in the country are filtered and only about 180-210 players can play in each season. For him to pursue his dreams at 43 years old and believing that at that age he can still compete at this level means he is belittling the league.
If he truly dreamed to enter the PBA, he should have work his butt off when he was younger and put the effort to find someone, an amateur league that can hone his skills for him to have a better shot to be drafted.
It is a bigger disrespect to the players, except Pacman of course. Why? Because these players actually did their best from the get go to get to the PBA and now here comes a 43 years old insisting that he has the skills to play in the PBA? That is absurd.
But at the end of the day, I respect him but we also need to realize that it was a disrespect to the players and to the league. Remember how mad you are when Pacman entered the league? The same reasons applies to Kobe.
Star franchise days in the PBA is numbered As I analyze it, my mind is slowly reaching the point that Star may be up for sale soon. Think about this, if you are the owner of Star, will you exchange the player that markets your company the most? I know that they won the Lee-Yap swap but what if it was a sort of cost-cutting? And, why would you choose another unproven coach replacing a rookie coach that failed miserably? Yeah. Maybe I am just hallucinating.
I feel bad for the rookies that SMB will choose SMB is so loaded that it is really hard for anybody to climb the rotation. Brian Heruela is a great prospect but he never sniffed 15 minutes playing behind two elite guards in Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot. Ronald Pascual was highly regarded but his confidence was shuttered when he was put behind the more talented Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz. So, for the prospects that will fortunately end up with SMB, work hard!
The PBA board made a mind-blowing decision about the Gilas Special Draft. The board decided that they will just decide the destination of each Gilas player. Mr. Robert Non assured the media that they studied this one and considered every possible way in doing it.
So, let us make this clear. They did not determine any new draft order, instead they just discussed the destination of each player. So, how should we react about this?
FAIRNESS Don't start trolling again in social media and calling out teams. This was a fair process. Why? Every team's representative was there! Yes! You are a fan of the team that got Ponso Gotladera? Don't you dare point to any other teams or executive, point to your own team and executive because he was there! He agreed with it.
This was decided by the board. So, whatever the result was, we can say that, that is the fairest distribution that the league can come up with! So, at the end of the draft, you can give out your take if it was the right distribution or not but the fact will remain, it was a consensus decision.
BUT WHAT THE F...! You are making that decision, three days before the draft? Seriously? And if you think about it carefully, this distribution process is not really that better than the Gilas draft process. The draft order in the Gilas draft is determined by the result of the 2016 season. So, it was plain basketball that decided that. And now, you are saying that it is better that 12 people with UNPROVEN basketball knowledge will decide the fate of the 12 Gilas players? What the F...!
No matter what the result is, this is again an example of the incompetence of the league as a whole. And the fans have all the right to feel bad about it. And you know what the worst thing about this? The league is not planning to reveal the factors and the process that they use in the distribution. So, I will not really blame the fans if they smell fishy about this.
So, PBA fans, you have all the right to troll the league, as a whole, because of this.
We are three days away from the draft so, here is our power ranking that involves the special and the regular draft.
Just like in the last one, I will give you two values, potential value and the current skills and impact value. The potential value connotes into how great will this player be if he hits his ceiling. While the CSIV refers to the what the players can offer as of the moment. The highest value is 15 for each.
#1 Mac Belo
Age: 23 Position: Forward (6'5) Potential Value: 15 Current Skills and Impact Value: 15
I have been underrating him the whole time but as think about it and watch some of his videos, I saw a great prospect. I think, he has everything that you wants from a player, except elite athleticism. He is clutch. He has heart. He is a hard worker. He can defend. He can score. He can create. He can shoot.
#2 Matthew Wright (Previously #10)
Age: 25 Position: Forward (6'4) Potential Value: 14 Current Skills and Impact Value: 14
He is a lights out shooter. What is amazing about him is that he is very effective off-the-ball. He will keep his man at his toe as he penetrates the screen to go the open spots. With his athleticism, he is very disruptive in the defensive end. He can get a lot of steals and do a one-man fastbreak.
#3 Jiovani Jalalon (Previously #11)
Age: 24 Position: Point Guard (5'10) Potential Value: 13 Current Skills and Impact Value: 14
One player that always come up in my mind when I watched him play is Chris Paul. Of course he is not as good as Chris Paul but they have the same style. Jiovani is not gifted with impressive athleticism but he is fast, intelligent, elite vision, playmaker, a leader, strong and good nose for the ball.
#4 Arnold Van Opstal
Age: 24 Position: Center (6'8) Potential Value: 15 Current Skills and Impact Value: 11
I will not bet that AVO has 75% of the skills that Greg Slaughter has when he entered the league. Nevertheless, Arnold Van Opstal is a very athletic bigman and with a good frame. With the right mentor and with patience, he can turn out to be the best player of this draft.
#5 Kevin Ferrer
Age: 23 Position: SF (6'4) Potential Value: 13 Current Skills and Impact Value: 13
We all know that he can shoot and he is a good defender. He slashed a lot in D League but he was not that creative and more of a vertical driver. Don't worry though, because he is still very young. His inclusion with Gilas will surely boost his skillset.
#6 Mike Tolomia
Age: 23 Position: Guard (5'11) Potential Value: 12 Current Skills and Impact Value: 13
He was a beast in the D-League. At one point, he was averaging 15.3 points, 7.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds. He is also not the fastest nor the most athletic but he is very creative in his drives. He is excellent in finding his bigman for drop-offs and open shooters. If he can develop his shooting, he could be a starter in the PBA.
#7 Carl Bryan Cruz
Age: 25 Position: Forward (6'5) Potential Value: 12 Current Skills and Impact Value: 12
I love his size. In a way, he is a combination of a Jervy Cruz and Art Dela Cruz. In the PBA D-League he poured 14.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals. Everytime your forward can steal more than one ball, you have a good weapon in your hands. He has an excellent midrange jumper and that could be a three-pointer in a few seasons.
#8 Ed Daquioag
Age: 24 Position: Guard (6'0) Potential Value: 11 Current Skills and Impact Value: 11
With his athleticism, Ed can easily get to the basket and that was his style in his whole career in the UAAP. It is time to improve the other facets of his game. He is an above average rebounder but he needs to be a better passer and specially, a better shooter.
#9 Ryan Arambulo
Age: 26 Position: Wingman (6'2) Potential Value: 11 Current Skills and Impact Value: 11
One of the most impressive player, physically. He was the fastest in the Draft Combined and he was the 2nd in the leaping category. He is also very intelligent and creative in the defensive end. He will be a great find in the regular draft and with the right team, he could be a good PBA player.
#10 Russell Escoto
Age: Position: Bigman (6'6) Potential Value: 12 Current Skills and Impact Value: 8 There is nothing special about him right now. He will need to work on his basketball skills if he wants to play long in the PBA. He is working on his shooting but he may need to work on his bigman skills like rebounding. Nevertheless. he is long and very athletic which will make it much easier.
#11 Roger Pogoy
Age: 24 Position: Wingman (6'2) Potential Value: 9 Current Skills and Impact Value: 11
He is a very crafty player. He is an above average shooter and a very discipline defender. What will make him a weapon is his ability to seal guards and score in the post. That will put a lot of wrinkles to the opposing coaches.
#12 Jericho De Guzman
Age: 27 Position: Center (6'11) Potential Value: 13 Current Skills and Impact Value: 6
Height is might in basketball. If a Greg Slaughter can be that impactful, De Guzman can also reach that point.