Newly-appointed Rain or Shine head coach Chris Gavina got a closer look at 11 rookie prospects in recent days after inviting them to work out with the team. He was left impressed with shooter Alvin Pasaol, versatile forward Santi Santillan, and 6'9" big man James Laput.
Gavina believes each has his own unique skill set which can be beneficial to Rain or Shine should the team choose one of the three.
Rain or Shine owns the fifth pick overall in the 2021 PBA Rookie draft set this Sunday.
"Alvin is a unique talent in the sense that he knows how to utilize his girth to his advantage," Gavina told ESPN5. "Very mobile and plays with grit and toughness. His body may not reflect his innate ability to just be a game time performer but he's definitely displayed a knack of just getting the job done when he's had to."
Pasaol, a 6-4 talent out of the University of the East, has shown tremendous improvement since joining the local 3x3 league sand afterafter a stellar collegiate career with the UE Red Warriors.
On the other hand, the new ROS mentor described Santillan as a "solid" big man who is PBA-ready.
"If I were to describe Santillan with one word, it would have to be 'solid.' He may not wow you with his athleticism but he has a solid PBA-made frame," explained the 42-year-old Fil-American coach.
Skills-wise, Gavina also liked the former La Salle forward's ability to play in the paint.
"His work ethic and willingness to improve I feel are his biggest upsides. He has shown the ability to play with his back to the basket and be a threat from deep," he stressed.
Meanwhile, even with an abundance of big men on their roster, Gavina still chose to take a look at 6-foot-9 slotman James Laput.
The former center out of Young Harris College, a US NCAA Division II school, who also played sparingly for La Salle in the UAAP, is a "defensive anchor", according to Gavina.
"Laput is a very well-built and legit 6'9" big. He could possibly be a great defensive anchor for a team due to his length and athleticism," shared Gavina.
While Thursday marked a busy day for TNT, Blackwater and NLEX, which figured in a three-team trade, Gavina elected to keep his team's cards close to his chest as far as who they will draft this coming Sunday.
"I think we will have to assess whether we need to fill a specific type of player that we feel we are in need of to fill that void in our lineup, or do we go with best available talent after TNT makes their draft choice, which seems to be with them leaning towards Mikey Williams," Gavina said.
Gavina admitted that Fil-Am guard Franky Johnson is an "interesting prospect" as well.
"Franky Johnson is an interesting prospect that has tremendous upside in regards to his length and athleticism. Our pick will come down to who the organization feels will be a game changer for us and we will come together collectively and come to that decision by Sunday," he said.
Other rookie hopefuls whom Gavina was able to invite for a workout include Loren Brill of Old Dominion, ex-La Salle guard Aljun Melecio, Alec Stockton of FEU, Fil-Am forward Nick Demusis, former Ateneo team skipper Anton Asistio, San Sebastian Stags' RK Ilagan, David Murrell of UP and Fil-Am guard Brian Enriquez.