San Mig Coffee and Rain or Shine are currently the frontrunners for the Greg Slaughter sweepstake as the 7-foot amateur stalwart appears to be the best material in the PBA Rookie Draft this year.
The pro league has one more conference left, the Governors’ Cup starting on August 14, and the draft for rookies is scheduled Nov. 3, but the Mixers and the Elasto Painters appear on track to battle for the No. 1 overall selection.
This is because San Mig holds the first round draft rights of newcomer Globalport from a past deal (originally with Powerade), while Rain or Shine owns the first round pick of Barako Bull (formerly Air21) this year also from a previous trade.
The first pick usually belongs to the team at the bottom of the standings after the combined results of the three conferences and from there, the second worst team will pick next. From all indications, Globalport and Air21 are likely to finish either last or second to last. Which one will pick first will be determined through lottery later.
Rene Pardo, San Mig’s team representative to PBA Board of Governors, said he feels that Slaughter is a favorite for that No. 1 overall selection.
“You can’t teach height in basketball,” said Pardo.
However, he said the final decision whom to pick will be up to coach Tim Cone. But whether they will use the player is another matter since they can use the pick as a trade bait.
Besides Slaughter, also high above the radar is Rey-Rey Parks, the son of the late seven-time PBA Best Import Bobby Parks.
“It will depend actually on the lottery, but if you look at the possibilities, it’s either Slaughter or Parks, depending on what the team needs. We may also consider trading him, if ever. But it’s still a long way with one conference to go.”
Slaughter, the former University of Visayas stalwart who transferred and won two UAAP titles with Ateneo, has already signified his intention of joining the PBA Rookie Draft.
Last year, Petron Blaze selected 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo as the top overall pick, while Alaska opted for former NCAA MVP Calvin Abueva, who helped the Aces win the Commissioner’s Cup.
Aside from Slaughter and Parks, the reigning UAAP MVP, other amateur stalwarts reportedly entering the draft San Sebastian’s Ian Sangalang and Ateneo’s Nico Salva, Far Eastern University’s RR Garcia and San Beda’s Jake Pascual.
San Mig got the 2013 first round pick rights from Globalport from multi-trades, and the last of which was when San Mig dealt guard Josh Urbiztondo to Air21 (now Barako Bull) last season.
Rain or Shine also got the draft rights in a deal that sent Solomon Mercado and JayR Reyes to Air21 for Ronjay Buenafe, Ronnie Matias plus the 2011 (which it used to tab Paul Lee) and 2013 first round picks in the Draft.
The PBA will set a deadline for draft applicants, one for local players and one for Fil-foreigners. (Waylon Galvez)
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