By JONAS TERRADO
Blackwater officially selected 3×3 standout Brandon Rosser as the top overall pick in the PBA Rookie Draft held yesterday inside the activity area of Robinsons Place Manila.
There was no surprise when the Bossing announced the name of Rosser, who was not around to meet his new employer after being part of Gilas Pilipinas squad that settled for a bronze medal in the men’s 3×3 event of the Vietnam SEA Games.
Rosser, who stands at 6-foot-7, was regarded as the biggest name of the draft following the absence of ex-La Salle star Justin Baltazar and Fil-Am Sedrick Barefield.
Terrafirma used the No. 2 pick to choose Jeremiah Gray, who once played for Alab Pilipinas, Mighty Sports Philippines and TNT’s PBA 3×3 team, despite in the process of recovering from an ACL injury.
Converge, the newest PBA team after buying the Alaska franchise in March, chose two NCAA standouts using the No. 3 and No. 4 selections.
Jeo Ambohot, who was playing for Letran in the NCAA Season 97 Finals against Mapua, was taken at No. 3 before Converge chose Arellano big man Justin Arana at No. 4.
Rain or Shine got Ateneo guard Gian Mamuyac at No. 5, NorthPort took San Sebastian’s JM Calma at No. 6 and NLEX took former UAAP cager Tyrus Hill at No. 7.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel drafted former B.League cager Javi Gomez de Liano with the eighth pick, Blackwater used the ninth overall selection to tap La Salle’s Kurt Lojera while National University’s Shaun Ildefonso went to Rain or Shine at No. 10.
Blackwater got Mark Dyke at No. 11 before Magnolia, which will carry the moniker Chicken Timplados Hotshots, ended the first round by selecting Keith Zaldivar at No. 12.
The proceedings were still ongoing at presstime, but part of it was the inclusion of Arana, Mamuyac, Gomez de Liano and Ildefonso in the Gilas Pilipinas pool for upcoming international competitions.
Gilas coach Chot Reyes said in a Zoom meeting with PBA commissioner Willie Marcial that the four players can still play for their teams, but will be handed over to the national team whenever their services are needed.