With the PBA Season 46 Rookie Draft in the books, it's time to see how each team did with their picks. Chuck Araneta, Carlo Pamintuan, and Yoyo Sarmenta hand out their grades for all 12 teams.
1st round - Ben Adamos
2nd round - Taylor Browne, Alec Stockton
3rd round - RK Ilagan
The selection of Ben Adamos as the sixth overall pick may come off a bit too high but it showed the determination of Alaska to bolster its frontcourt. The Aces already have a dynamic big in new addition Gab Banal so they were looking to add a solid, serviceable center in Adamos.
Overall, the Aces did exceptionally well in terms of what the team needed. They have a combo guard in Taylor Browne whose athleticism can give the team an entirely different look. They can have Browne run the offense for the second unit or manage it alongside Mike DiGregorio and JVee Casio. Acquiring gunslinger RK Ilagan and pesky defender Alec Stockton will also provide more versatility for the Aces who already have a strong foundation of players. - Yoyo Sarmenta
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel
1st Round: Ken Holmqvist
2nd Round: Brian Enriquez
When you're the reigning defending champions of the PBA Philippine Cup that just recently acquired last season's Governors' Cup Best Player of the Conference in Christian Standhardinger, there's not much room for further improvement, particularly by way of the draft. It was clear early on that Ginebra's desire in the draft was to find rotation players that could make an impact down the road, but weren't necessarily crucial pieces for a current title run.
Ken Holmqvist may have been a surprise to many, but it was clear that teams were loading up on big men in the draft, and the 6'8 pivot was on Tim Cone's radar from the very start. And when Ginebra curiously decided to move up in the draft to get the 1st pick of the second round, it was clear that they wanted Brian Enriquez with that pick. Enriquez apparently wowed Ginebra enough in the private workouts and interview that it necessitated giving up Jerrick Balanza to acquire him. The product of NCAA DII school William Woods, Enriquez is one of many men of mystery in the draft because there was no Draft Combine due to COVID. But it will be interesting to see what he has that pushed Ginebra to go up the rankings to draft him. - Chuck Araneta
2nd round - Rey Mark Acuno, Joshua Torralba
3rd round - Andre Paras
4th round - Jun Manzo
5th round - Kim Bayquin
6th round - Jeson Delfinado
Blackwater pulled quite a few surprises in the draft with back-to-back selections of Rey Mark Acuno and Joshua Torralba. Then again, it seemed like coach Nash Racela and his staff had a specific game plan heading into the draft. They went for guys who have chips on their shoulders, eager to prove their worth in the big league. Andre Paras, Jun Manzo, Kim Bayquin, and Jeson Delfinado have diverse backgrounds but they're all hustle guys who are also coachable. - Yoyo Sarmenta
Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok
1st Round - Jerrick Ahanmisi
2nd Round - None
3rd Round - Ronnie De Leon
4th Round - Andrew Estrella
Heading into the draft, Magnolia was supposed to have the sixth pick. The popular opinion was that they would use this pick to get a much-needed big man to add to their guard-heavy roster. However, they parted with this pick to land Calvin Abueva from the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters. With one move, they eliminated the need to draft a big, which meant they could just sign the best talent at the 10th spot.
Coach Chito Victolero has a lot of top-class point guards in his roster and he wanted to complement them by acquiring a straight-up shooter in Jerrick Ahanmisi.
The Hotshots' roster still isn't complete so they might actually get to sign UE big man Ronnie De Leon who landed in the perfect situation with them in the third round while Andoy Estrella will have a tougher time with the wealth of guards the squad already has. - Carlo Pamintuan
1st Round - Alvin Pasaol
2nd Round - None
3rd Round - John Yasa
4th Round - Luis Brill
The Meralco Bolts knew exactly what they needed to build on their successful campaign in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup. They had an admirable run and only lost at the buzzer in a do-or-die semifinals game against the eventual champions, so they knew they were heading in the right direction but needed help in some key areas.
Getting Mac Belo was important but so was drafting Alvin Pasaol with the ninth pick in the first round. The biggest problem for the Bolts in the bubble was that there were many times when their offense would just hit a brick wall. Allein Maliksi did his best to provide the scoring punch off the bench but having Pasaol will give them a player who can score from anywhere on the floor. He can play off the ball or create and is always oozing with confidence. An underlying benefit of landing Pasaol with Meralco is that the Bolts have a really strong physical training program, which should help the burly UE Red Warriors get into his prime shape.
Meralco picked up a big in John Yasa and a guard in Luis Brill in the third and fourth rounds but the Bolts will not change a lot in their roster so it might be an uphill climb for those two to make the lineup. - Carlo Pamintuan
NLEX Road Warriors
1st Round: Calvin Oftana
2nd Round: Dave Murrell
3rd Round: Antonio Bonsubre
4th Round: Jose Presbiterio
5th Round: Joseph Alcantara
6th Round: Alberto Torres
The Road Warriors were targeted to get Calvin Oftana at third pretty much since the day that we got our final list of draft applicants, and they didn't disappoint. Trading away the fourth pick was painful, but they were able to grab Don Trollano from Blackwater, which isn't a bad tradeoff.
It can't be understated just how much Oftana will be able to help the Road Warriors. His game is tailor-made for the pros, and his tenacity and desire should make it difficult for Coach Yeng Guiao to keep him off the floor. This guy should be competing for Rookie of the Year honors from the jump.
They also got a versatile wingman with a ton of energy and athleticism in Dave Murrell, giving them a more dynamic rotation. - Chuck Araneta
Ken Holmqvist joins the Barangay
First-round draft pick Ken Holmqvist talks about getting selected by Barangay Ginebra.
NorthPort Batang Pier
Gilas Draft - William Navarro
1st Round - Jamie Malonzo, Troy Rike
2nd Round - Mark Olayon
3rd Round - Loren Brill
4th Round - Marvin Moraga
5th Round - Carl Bryan Ravanes
6th Round - Deraj Elmejrab
7th Round - Jonico Rosales
8th Round - Jed Mendoza
The NorthPort Batang Pier went into the draft knowing that their roster still needed a lot of work. They were the smallest crew to enter the PBA Bubble and this hurt their stint when some of their players suffered injuries. With the team deciding not to renew the contracts of some of their players, they used the draft to stock up on talents to see which they could include in their lineup come the Philippine Cup.
Picking up Jamie Malonzo was a no-brainer for them. Although a lot of people may say that Mikey Williams is the better talent, it will be Robert Bolick's show to run in NorthPort so getting a player who can defend guard and forwards was perfect for them. They also added more ceiling in Troy Rike late in the first round, with the Wake Forest product playing behind Greg Slaughter.
The addition of Jerrick Balanza, Clint Doiguez, and Sidney Onwubere via trades might make it tough for any of NorthPort's other draftees to crack their roster save for Mark Olayon, the guard from UE, whose interview with Carla Lizardo was rudely interrupted by a jaywalker.
The true kicker here was picking up William Navarro. The Ateneo forward was tabbed to be a first-rounder before deciding to join the special Gilas Draft. This means the Batang Pier basically had three first-rounders although they'll have to wait a couple more years before they get to see Navarro wearing their white and orange. - Carlo Pamintuan
Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters
1st round - Larry Muyang
2nd round - Nick Demusis, Aljun Melecio
3rd round - Reymar Caduyac
4th round - Max Hentschel
5th round - Jerie Pingoy
After trading away Calvin Abueva, the Fuel Masters have a splendid job in retooling their roster. Larry Muyang was the right pick for them in the first round and their two straight selections of Nick Demusis and Aljun Melecio were equally superb.
Considering Phoenix's core of Matthew Wright, Jason Perkins, Alex Mallari, Justin Chua, and RJ Jazul, plus veterans Vic Manuel, and Chris Banchero, its bench will be a key piece in the franchise's championship aspirations. Imagine Demusis or Melecio coming in the second quarter kickstarting the offense or Muyang getting timely rebounds late in the game. Reymar Caduyac, Max Hentschel, and Jerie Pingoy are no pushovers as well. If they can make it the final lineup, they can contribute to the team. Last season's bubble was no fluke and the Fuel Masters added the right pieces that can push them towards the right direction. - Yoyo Sarmenta
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters
1st Round: Leonard Santillan
2nd Round: Franky Johnson, Anton Asistio, Andrei Caracut
3rd Round: Kenneth Mocon
4th Round: RJ Argamino
5th Round: Philip Manalang
The Elastopainters absolutely nailed their draft. They started out by nabbing Leonard Santillan with the 5th pick, giving Rain or Shine another big man that lines up with Beau Belga and Jewel Ponferada as versatile scorers and rugged defenders in the frontcourt. Santillan may take a little time to adjust to the physicality of the PBA, but with Belga mentoring him, he should be able to make the adjustment immediately.
And in the second round, Rain or Shine immediately addressed their issues with scoring by drafting professional scorer Franky Johnson. The 3x3 stalwart looked perturbed in his interview, the look of a man who didn't understand why he fell to the second round and was determined to make 11 other teams pay. That should bode well for his team.
Rain or Shine also needed some additional playmaking and outside shooting, which makes the Asistio and Caracut picks perfect. Both of these guys should be able to provide relief from the bench to help relieve Ray Nambatac from having to run the offense, leaving him to focus on scoring. The first offseason under new coach Chris Gavina is an absolute homerun for the squad. - Chuck Araneta
San Miguel Beermen
3rd round - Allen Enriquez
4th round - Mohammad Salim
5th round - Greg Flor
6th round - Jeffrey Manday
7th round - Luis Abaca
To be fair to the San Miguel Beermen, they didn't get to pick in the draft until late in the third round. They didn't get big names in the draft as well. But if you're the Beermen, you already got your prize in the offseason with the acquisition of CJ Perez. They may have a lowgrade in this year's draft but it hardly matters. And if they happen to like a player on somebody else's roster, they've proven that they can easily strike a trade that can benefit them in the long run. The SMB franchise has an abundance of talent and remains a perennial powerhouse in the PBA. - Yoyo Sarmenta
1st Round: Joshua Munzon, James Laput
3rd Round: Dhon Reverente
4th Round: Michael Javelosa
5th Round: Immanuel Custodio
6th Round: Terrence Tumalip
By simply drafting Joshua Munzon, the Dyip already did the right thing in this Draft. Munzon has excelled at every level of play, whether in 5x5 or 3x3 and is most comfortable when he's handed the keys to the offense and can create for himself and others. With the Dyip, he should have every opportunity to do exactly that. Munzon and Roosevelt Adams could prove to be a dynamic duo in the league, as long as they're given the opportunity to grow and gel together as a team.
They'll also have a nice piece to work with in the frontcourt in James Pado-Laput, one of the biggest risers in the draft. With Ben Adamos drafted by Alaska with the sixth pick, the Dyip didn't waste any time in getting the tallest player in the Draft. Laput immediately gives the Dyip the size that they didn't have in previous seasons. Though Laput is still raw, he's still only 24 years old. The Dyip could be a good situation for "The Project" to develop. - Chuck Araneta
TNT Tropang Giga
Gilas Draft - Jaydee Tungcab
1st Round - Mikey Williams
2nd Round - None
3rd Round - Michael Simmonds
4th Round - Joel Lee Yu
5th Round - Martin Gozum
A week before the draft, TNT was not even in the conversation about the draft as they were not supposed to select anyone up until the third round. However, one move later allowed them to land in the Gilas Draft and 4th in the first round.
The addition of Jaydee Tungcab was interesting but Mikey Williams is a game-changer. Those who have seen him in action, especially those who have coached him, have all said they'd take him first overall if given the chance. Pairing Williams with Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy would definitely soften the blow caused by Ray Parks Jr.'s impending hiatus.
The Tropang Giga made three more picks later on but it's clear that newly-installed head coach Chot Reyes would rather bank on unsigned veterans to round out their roster as they have added Glen Khobuntin, Dave Marcelo, and Brian Heruela to their team in the offseason. - Carlo Pamintuan