The second round of the PBA draft is a no man’s land. Few second-rounders impress coaches enough to make the team; even fewer get consistent playing time to become part of a rotation.
Over the years, however, teams have ended up with gems who not only become contributors, but even legitimate stars. In this latest installment of The List, we count down the best second rounders since the PBA instituted a draft in 1985. But as always, here are some honorable mentions:
A former Metropolitan Basketball Association Most Valuable Player, Ferriols fell to the FedEx Express in the second round of the 2003 draft because of an influx of talent from the closure of the MBA the previous year. He became a steady contributor for FedEx, averaging PBA career-highs of 10.8 points and 7.1 rebounds in his second season in the league.
A second round pick of Shell in 2004, he blossomed under coach Yeng Guiao after being signed by Red Bull in his sophomore season. A big man with a nice outside touch, he has proven he could contribute to teams when given minutes.
He was drafted by Talk ‘N Text in 2005, but was picked up by Ginebra after being left unsigned. He became a valuable sharpshooter for Ginebra, before moving to Coca-Cola and Meralco. He has won the PBA’s three-point shootout crown in each of the past three All-Star Weekends.
Artadi was the first pick in the second round of the 2004 draft, where he reunited with former University of the East teammate James Yap to form the Kid Lightning-Boy Thunder backcourt for Purefoods. Despite his flawed outside shot, he has managed to help Purefoods and Ginebra to championships as a backup point guard.
The former College of Saint Benilde gunner impressed coach Ron Jacobs during the tryouts for the national team in 2002, so it was no surprise when Jacobs’ protege Allan Caidic selected him in the 2003 draft for Ginebra. Salvacion was a solid option at both wing positions, delighting Ginebra fans for years with his Sunday Special three-point bombs.
Wilson didn’t have a good start to his career in 2004, as his coaches at Alaska and San Miguel didn’t quite know how to use him. They thought of the 6-foot-2 Wilson as a perimeter defender, but his lot in life really was to thrive as an undersized power forward, a role he has played well at Ginebra.
Jireh Ibanes, Ronjay Buenafe, Ryan Arana, TY Tang
It’s pretty amazing that Rain or Shine is thriving with five second-round picks in its regular rotation; that’s Yeng Guiao’s magic for you. (The fifth member of the Elasto Painters second round crew made it onto the actual list.) More impressively, three men were actual draft picks by Rain or Shine, underscoring how smart the organization has been through the years.