Petron: June Mar Fajardo, Alex Mallari, Mark Sarangay. Not surprised with Fajardo going 1st overall. Just making sure Team SMC has him on lock (he was on their ABL team). Hopefully his apprenticeship is smoother than what Sam Eman went through with them. An already strong frontline gets a boost with Mallari now in. Sarangay might just see himself doing ABL stuff soon.
Alaska: Calvin Abueva, Raphy Reyes, Karl Dehesa. The task now for Luigi Trillo would be to try to corral "The Beast" and integrate his skill set onto the triangle scheme. Surrounding himself with veteran coaches helps, as does having Topex Robinson (Calvin's HC at SSC-R). Reyes and Dehesa are depth picks at the backcourt.
Meralco: Cliff Hodge, Kelly Nabong, Janus Lozada, Eric Suguitan. Meralco gets a clear upgrade all around. Nabong and Lozada are going to be off-the-bench lesser versions of Mercado & Cardona. Suguitan gets to be Asi's understudy.
Barako Bull: Dave Marcelo, Lester Alvarez, Emman Monfort, Woody Co, Kokoy Hermosisima (and Sean Anthony). The Manong Brigade needed an injection of youth and skill, as well as being able to play immediately, with Marcelo chiefly being able to already plug the hole that Don Allado put himself into.
Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel: Chris Ellis, Keith Jensen, Ryan Boada, Jerick Canada, Paul Zamar, JR Buensuceso, Elliott Tan. Their first two picks are great additions of size and athleticism, especially with Ellis. Then they added 5 guards, all below 5'11. If you are accumulating that number of guards AND you have the likes of Cortez, Helterbrand and Labagala... Very David Kahn-esque of Siot.
Rain or Shine: Chris Tiu, Bacon Austria, Jewel Palomique. Coach Yeng pretty much has a grasp of the team's needs, adding role players that fit what he wants to achieve. We know Tiu and Austria can defend. They'll figure out their need on size in free agency / trade.
B-Meg: Aldrech Ramos, Jewel Ponferrada, Gian Chiu, Ramon Mabayo. Curious move to virtually trade up to snag Aldrech, especially having to give up a Sakuragi-esque player in Sean Anthony to pull it off. Also curious, snagging three bigs, with Ponferrada then Chiu. Mabayo is a long-shot to make the roster.
Global Port: Vic Manuel, Jason Deutchman, AJ Mandani, Macky Acosta, Jan Colina, VJ Serios (and Val Acuna). Clearly, Mikee Romero wants to beef up the remnants of Powerade. Manuel instantly slots in where Sean Anthony left off. AJ Mandani could be a capable reliever for Casio and David in the backcourt.
Air 21: Yousef Taha, Simon Atkins. The DLSU braintrust knows what Atkins can do, thus no-brainer at where they were picking him. Taha adds ceiling to a really small team (only rookie Magi Sison is taller than 6'4".)
Talk 'N Text: Jaypee Belencion, Jason Escueta. Belencion can shoot. Ask La Salle during a certain Fil-Oil game. The lineup remains stacked, so this is merely a means to stock up on depth. TNT bench is very familiar with what Jumbo can provide, since they coached him.
Thoughts on the draft from being at the venue:
1. Huge crowd at Robinson's Midtown Atrium. All floors occupied as fans flocked around the venue. Someone unfurled an Aldrech Ramos tarp from one floor when he was drafted. Ditto with Raphy Reyes. But with his case, it's the one you're familiar with at courtside on the UAAP games. The PBA is going to be fine, y'all.
2. Ateneo vs La Salle. I was seated behind the Air 21 table. Sure has a DLSU feel to it, from Coach Franz to his assistants Tonichi Yturri and Jack Santiago to Renren Ritualo. Beside them is the Talk 'N Text table. You probably knew that Norman Black is their new head coach. He basically ported over virtually the entire Ateneo coaching staff, as Sandy, Jamike and Gene were there with Coach. Norman has already said he is going to finish UAAP's Season 75 with Ateneo. The PBA opens on September 30. Based on my schedule calculations, that is the Sunday of the UAAP Final Four Week. They are going to have an interesting stretch of games.
3. It pays to be in an established program / team. All Ateneans were drafted. All members of NLEX were drafted. The Adamson players that Coach Leo Austria nurtured were drafted.
4. A sense of timing. Ronald Pascual gets it. This year's draft class is stacked. Next year's batch won't be as strong, but it will be decent, highlighted by the crop of Ateneans in Slaughter and Salva.
Teams: Rain or Shine, Meralco and Barako Bull.
Steals: Janus Lozada (Meralco), Gian Chiu (B-Meg), Jaypee Belencion (TNT).
Huge bust potential? Aldrech Ramos (didn't really shock the world with the Patriots), Jason Deutchman (injury issues)