WHETHER Kia keeps its top pick or San Miguel Beer successfully takes it, don’t expect the no. 1 draftee in the upcoming 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Draft to be a big surprise.
Regardless which team picks first once the dust settles, expect Filipino-German bruiser Christian Standhardinger’s name to be called first in the Oct. 29 event.
Since he declared himself for the draft even though he is still set to complete his commitment to Hong Kong in the Asean Basketball League season ahead, Standhardinger has been the consensus choice as top pick.
The dilemma at the moment is that the pending controversial trade, involving the Picanto, who is supposed to select first in the draft, and the Beermen, who are keen on sending players Jay-R Reyes, Keith Agovida and Rashawn McCarthy to Kia in exchange for the No. 1 selection, has still yet to be finalized.
The two teams have already submitted their proposal, but PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa is still in the middle of making a decision on whether to approve, veto or revise the transaction.
Still, Standhardinger is expected to be the top pick.
As for the No. 2 selection, it is also no secret that amateur standout Kiefer Ravena from Ateneo De Manila will take the pick, which NLEX owns.
Ravena only solidified his standing in the draft as he dominated the draft combine and scrimmages held by the league this week to give scouts a better look at the aspirants.
The dynamic spitfire was named the Most Valuable Player in the mini-tournament held as he led his A-2 squad to the championship. He also topped the vertical leap measurement in the draft combine.
After waiting several years to turn pro, Ravena believes he is now ripe to take on the big league.
“I’m really ready (for the PBA). At this stage, it’s time to realize my dream of playing in the PBA and doing my best there,” said Ravena.
While the top two picks are locks, the third pick owned by Blackwater is where the intrigue sets in.
The Elite are reportedly torn on who it will take with the No. 3 selection. They are further evaluating standouts Jeron Teng, Raymar Jose and Jason Perkins, all stars in the UAAP several seasons ago.
Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra is currently going for the kill as it is looking to finish off Meralco in Game 6 of their intense best-of-seven championship series in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup as of this report.
The Gin Kings are hoping to wrap things up and avoid a Game 7 to win their second straight Governors’ Cup title while the Bolts are hoping for a sudden death.