GlobalPort lost one of its top players in Sunday’s draft after trading Sean Anthony to B-MEG for the No. 9 pick and Val Acuna.
But team owner Mikee Romero said that the team’s pick at that spot, Vic Manuel, can make up for the loss of the hardworking forward.
“We like Sean Anthony, but we had the opportunity of picking up Vic Manuel, who could give us an additional inside presence,” Romero told InterAKTV. “He can more than make up for Anthony’s absence and he will be an integral part of the team.”
Anthony had a pit stop at the Llamados before being sent to Barako Bull along with the No. 12 pick in exchange for Aldrech Ramos, who was selected fifth. The Filipino-Canadian forward was a key cog in the Powerade’s Cinderella run to the Philippine Cup finals last year, and was expected to play a vital role for GlobalPort this season after its acquisition of the Tigers franchise.
GlobalPort had a busy draft, picking a total of six players. The Batang Pier selected Filipino-American forward Jason Deutchman with their second pick in the first round before tabbing AJ Mandani in the second round, Mark Acosta in the third round, Jan Colina in the fourth round, and VJ Serios in the fifth round.
The rookies will join a core that includes superstar guard Gary David as well as JVee Casio and Rabeh Al-Hussaini. Interim coach Glenn Capacio will call the shots for the team and will be assisted by Ricky Dandan, Charles Tiu, and Johnedel Cardel.
Romero has bankrolled championship teams in the Philippine Basketball League and the ASEAN Basketball League, and he hopes to continue that in the PBA.
He watched as the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, owned by the same group that built the Welcoat dynasty in the PBL, won their first title in the recently-concluded Governors’ Cup. It took Rain or Shine six years in the PBA to win its first championship.
Romero hopes it won’t take the Batang Pier that long.
“If we can win in three years time, that would be an achievement,” said Romero.
“I know competition is tough in the PBA. Yung mga dating players namin sa Harbour, I know yun din ang papatay sa amin.”
He can afford to be patient now, but expects to see results in the near future.
“Sa umpisa, OK lang na mag-invest ako, pero in two years time, medyo maniningil na ako ng resulta,” added Romero.
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