One of the most exciting part of a draft is the search for a draft steal. These are the players that will outplay their draft position.
These are my five candidates.
CARL BRYAN CRUZ If the rumors are true, he will end up with the Alaska Aces and that could be the right place for him. One thing that I observed from him over the years is his low-key attitude. Behind that is a hard worker who worked his way up in the rotation in college. As long as he doesn't fall to the "Jevy Cruz" trap, falling in-love with the outside and forgetting about the other aspect of the game, I am confident that he will be having a long and good career. He need to listen carefully from the defensive maestros of the Aces and he will surely mold himself into a good stopper. PONSO GOTLADERA One underrated ingredients to be successful in the league is a money shot. It is any two-pointer that a player can shoot efficiently and effectively. Ponso has one, a 8-10 feet jumper. If he can sustain that and bulk up further and put the effort to develop his defensive game, Ponso will be a good prospect to follow.
JERICHO DE GUZMAN With what I am hearing, this 6'10/6'11 prospect will not be part of the first 5 picks. If he will fall out of the top 5, they better snatch him. Jericho is not your usual basketball giant because he is not actually that slow and he is also not that lanky. With his frame, it will not be that hard to make him a good rim protector because his presence alone will be a difference maker. JESSIE SAITANAN Do you know what is the hardest type of bigman to find in the PBA? It is the rim-protecting and stretching frontliner. In simple terms, a player who is a good shot blocker and is very efficient in shooting the three. Even with his inefficiency, Arwind Santos has been a big plus to the Beermen because he can block shots and light it up from the outside. Saitanan could be his second coming.
BILLY RAY ROBLES How about a super athletic guard who is a blue-collar worker in the court and in the training facility. The biggest knock of him is his outside shooting, which is basically non-existing. The good news is, he already has a consistent midrange shot so a three-pointer could be coming soon. And the fact is, that could be the only area where he is awful. He is basically Justin Melton but a full-blooded Filipino.