It’s the calm before the storm a day before the draft. Almost no news came out of the team’s camps today, but things are expected to heat up tomorrow even before the draft starts.
1. June Mar Fajardo – Petron (from Barako Bull, acquired from Air 21)
The latest poll Fajardo career poll results: Danny Ildefonso – 24.42%, Yancy De Ocampo – 21.47%
There’s no more suspense about the No. 1 pick, so we’re excited for the inevitable Fajardo interview with Erika Padilla on draft day. We know the Kraken has faced tall imports in the ASEAN Basketball League, but he hasn’t encountered a force of nature quite like Ms. Padilla.
2. Calvin Abueva – Alaska
Calvin Abueva had a miserable outing in his last NCAA game before draft day, fouling out as his San Sebastian squad was upset by Emilio Aguinaldo College on Saturday. We hope that’s not some kind of omen.
3. Alex Mallari – Petron (from Barako Bull)
We won’t be surprised if this pick ends up with another team. For one, we already know that Petron will be involved in a blockbuster four-way trade with Air 21, Barako Bull, and Ginebra.
In that deal, the Express gave up its first round pick next year. Just thinking out loud: Suppose that pick again ends up with Petron, and suppose it turns out to be No. 1 again next year. And suppose that Ateneo center Greg Slaughter declares for the draft. Could Petron actually end up with Fajardo and Slaughter?
Again, this isn’t a rumor. This is just us thinking out loud.
4. Cliff Hodge – Meralco
We’re pretty sure that Meralco is thinking very hard about Chris Tiu at this spot, but if our projections turn out right and Mallari gets picked third, then it’d be very hard for the Bolts to pass up on Hodge, who fills a big hole for them at power forward.
5. Chris Tiu – Barako Bull (from Petron)
Admit it, it’d be kinda funny for Chris Tiu to end up at Barako Bull, because he’s like the least Barako-looking player ever. Although at 27 years old, he could be considered a manong among rookies, making him a perfect fit with the manong brigade.
6. Keith Jensen – Barangay Ginebra (from Barako Bull, acquired from Powerade)
Again, Ginebra will be part of that four-way blockbuster, so we don’t know if this pick, or the eighth, will still be with the team on Sunday. We do know that coach Siot Tanquingcen is interested in Tiu and Jensen.
7. Chris Ellis – Rain or Shine
We’ve heard both Meralco and Alaska taking an interest in this pick. We wouldn’t be surprised if it was traded, but we wouldn’t be surprised either to see the Elasto Painters making a surprise at this spot.
8. Vic Manuel – Barangay Ginebra
9. Jason Deutchman – B-MEG
In 2003, Tim Cone shocked fans when he traded Kenneth Duremdes for a package that included the fifth pick in the draft, Brandon Cablay. In 2008, he traded for Joe Devance with Alaska’s fifth pick that year (Sol Mercado).
We don’t expect him to do something crazy, like trade James Yap for a draft pick. But we won’t be surprised at all if he makes a major move on Sunday.
10. Aldrech Ramos – GlobalPort (from Barako Bull, acquired from Talk ‘N Text)
11. Lester Alvarez – Air 21 (from Alaska)
12. Yousef Taha – B-MEG (from Barako Bull acquired from Air 21)
13. Raphy Reyes – B-MEG (from Barako Bull)
14. Dave Marcelo – GlobalPort (from Meralco)
15. Kelly Nabong – Barako Bull (from Petron)
16. Jewel Ponferrada – Barako Bull (from Powerade)
17. Janus Lozada – Rain or Shine
18. Mark Jeffries – Barako Bull (from Ginebra)
19. Simon Atkins – Alaska (from Barako Bull acquired from B-MEG)
Here’s yet another fan-made Simon Atkins-Kim Chiu video. Boy, those fans sure have a lot of time, don’t they?