Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Nonoy Baclao selected #1 overall in PBA Draft

Nonoy Baclao is overall #1 PBA Draft Pick

report by Mia Domingo pics by nonoy lacza

And so, the best of the best were chosen in a two-round draft.

Just when everybody was expecting Rabeh Al-Hussaini to bag the top pick in today's draft, Siverino "Nonoy" Baclao stole the show after he was adjudged as the best among the 60 hopefuls when his name was called as the top pick in the 2010 PBA Annual Rookie Draft.

The 23-year old Baclao, who played college ball for West Negros College then later on transferred to Ateneo where he took up AB Interdisciplinary Studies, was relatively surprised when his name was called. He said, "Nagulat talaga ako. Nagpapasalamat ako syempre kay God sa blessing na ito. Akala ko mga 4th pick pa ako."

Baclao, who seems to fit perfectly into Coach Yeng Guiao's rebuilding team added, "Susundin ko lahat ng instructions sa akin. Aalamin ko din yung magiging role ko para makacontribute sa team." He also said that, this is a new challenge in his career after his winning experience with the RP Patriots in the ABL. 

The second pick belongs to former King Eagle Rabeh Al-Hussaini, who was also drafted by Air21. He will be suiting up alongside his half-brother Carlo Sharma under Guiao's rebuilding team. Although reports have it that Al-Hussaini does not appear to be happy with being the second overall pick since he expected his name to be the first one to be called. He was quoted saying, "I'll just work on my game, since I think I'm not the best player around" (referring to his 'demotion' as second pick).

Third pick, which also goes to Air21 was Rey Guevarra. He made himself available for the draft after he forego his slot in the Smart Gilas Pilipinas roster. Guevarra, coming off an ACL injury from his last game as a Letran Knight last year was surprised as well with the turn of things. He said, "Thankful ako kay God kasi binigyan ako ng chance na makapaglaro sa PBA. Akala ko, mga second round pa ako mapipick." The 24-year old Guevarra, who felt that he was still shaking moments after he was picked is the son of Noel Guevarra, who played in the PABL way back. An injury prevented the older Guevarra to pursue his professional dream, so Rey assured his dad that if given the chance, he'll be the one to fulfill that dream. And now, it has become a reality. 

Following Guevarra was Elmer Espiritu, a UE alumnus who also won a ring for the RP Patriots in the ABL. The high-leaping Espiritu is reunited with former UE Warrior Mark Borboran at the Alaska camp. The 4th pick originally belongs to the Talk and Text Tropang Texters but they traded their rights for Larry Fonacier who was a vital cog in their championship run a few weeks back. 

Wrapping up the first five picks is Fil-Foreigner Josh Vanlandingham, who went to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Vanlandingham spent sometime in the Hapee roster in the PBL before they merged with Liga Pilipinas. He is reunited with former Hapee teammate Jervy Cruz, who is also an Elasto Painter. 

Air21, who also owns the sixth overall pick got Fil-Foreigner wingman Sean Michael Anthony to add up to their rebuilding team. But, minutes later, the author learned about Anthony alongside Renren Ritualo being shipped to Powerade Tigers in exchange for future draft picks. Barangay Ginebra, who owns the seventh and eight overall picks got two MVPs/shooters in John Wilson and Jimbo Aquino. Wilson, who is the reigning NCAA MVP played for the JRU Heavy Bombers while Aquino, last year's Finals MVP steered the San Sebastian Stags all the way in their championship showdown with the San Beda Red Lions.

B-Meg Derby Ace picked Pari Llagas as the 9th pick in the first round. Llagas, who was a force to reckon with during his stay with the UE Red Warriors also played for the Cobra Energy Drink team in the PBL early this year and the TOP when the PBL and Liga Pilipinas merged.

Rounding up the first round, another Fil-Foreigner in Shawn Weinstein, a sleeper among the 60 hopefuls was drafted by the Meralco Bolts squad. The pick originally belongs to the Alaska Aces, but they opted to give it up for Alaska's Bonbon Custodio. Custodio will again be playing side by side with fellow Warriors Mark Borboran and Elmer Espiritu. 

In the second round, the 1st pick, 11th overall, Meralco picked Riego Gamalinda, who played for the Red Lions. He was a part of the three-peat roster of San Beda. 12th pick for the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings was Robert Labagala who played for the UE Red Warriors during his college days. For the 13th pick that belongs to the B-Meg Derby Ace, they got another wingman in Val Acuna. Acuna was a key in UE's Season 72 run where they finished as runner-up to Ateneo. Acuna was a part of the RP Patriots lineup the last time out.

Meralco, for the 14th pick, had Ford Arao who actually stands at 6'4. The former Blue Eagle played for the Magnolia team in the PBL before applying for the draft. Alaska traded their 15th overall pick to Rain Or Shine in exchange for the former's 2nd round draft pick next year. The Elasto Painters picked RJ Jazul. Jazul spent his college years as a Letran Knight before moving to the Smart Gilas Pilipinas squad. Meralco, for their fourth and last pick in this year's draft took in former UST Tiger Khasim Mirza. Like Espiritu and Acuna, Mirza also played for the RP Patriots in the ABL where they won a championship. 

Borgie Hermida, the graduating court general from San Beda was the only pick Barako Bull had in this year's draft. Hermida, coming off a triple double performance in their last game is hoping he could exit the collegiate ranks with a championship before he turns pro this October.

Air21 traded this year's 18th pick overall to Powerade Tigers. The Tigers took in the shifty gunner from Ateneo, Jai Reyes. For the 19th and 20th pick for the Alaska Aces(traded from Powerade) and Air21 Express, both teams decided to pass. The last name to be called for the two-round draft this year for the Alaska Aces belongs to JRU's Marvin Hayes. The two-time Mythical Team Member will be using this experience as a motivating factor in order to play an inspired game of basketball this Wednesday in the NCAA. Hayes is hopeful that he'll have a decent exit from the college ranks before he turns pro a couple of months from now.

A total of 19 from the 60 draftees were picked, enabling the non-draftees to be considered as free agent. PBA's tipoff will be on October 3 at the Big Dome where the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings clashes with the Meralco Bolts squad. 

Notes: It was a win-win situation for majority of the RP Patriots team members who made themselves available for the draft. Their experience in the ABL, as well as the ring they brought home under Coach Louie Alas was definitely a plus factor. Ginebra, on their part got two super guards from the NCAA, but with the overflowing guards roster, will Aquino and Wilson fit perfectly with the Barangay? 

Every now and then I will post some stuff by my pool of writers who I ask to cover certain events that I am unable to follow. Such as yesterday's PBA Draft that was at the same time as the Adamson-Ateneo game. I've got a pool of four of them that I am teaching and helping in their careers.

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