|With Juami Tiongson after the 2014 Gatorade PBA Draft|
Robinson’s Malate has been a friendly homecourt for pro-dreaming Ateneo Blue Eagles
by rick olivares
Even when the draft is packed and loaded with talented players, Ateneo Blue Eagles alums have almost always been drafted to the PBA.*
Since the Ateneo basketball program was installed in 1999, beginning with former Vice President Fr. Carmelo Caluag to current team patriarch Manuel V. Pangilinan, the school has done very very well not only in the UAAP basketball wars but also in the PBA Draft and the regular PBA season.
It’s a testament not only to the program and the recruiting but also their attitudes that has allowed many of them to have long and fruitful careers in the pros.
In recent years, Robinson’s Midtown Place in Malate has been like a homecourt for pro-dreaming Blue Eagles.
Years the PBA Draft was held at venue
Number of Ateneo Blue Eagles drafted
Glorietta Activity Center
Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall
Robinson’s Midtown Place
While the recent surge of draftees have come from the five-peat teams, in some way – this is the coincidental if not neo-romantic part of it – the venue has taken care of the Blue Eagles.
You see the site of Robinson’s Midtown Place is where the old Ateneo campus along Padre Faura used to be located. It is there where the Jesuits transferred the school when the original Intramuros campus burned down. It was the last Ateneo campus in Manila before the late Fr. William Masterson S.J. relocated the school to the howling wilderness that was once that area overlooking the Marikina Valley after World War II.
In fact, there’s a marker right in front of the mall’s Padre Faura entrance that notes the venue was the site of the old Ateneo campus.
In the real scheme of things, it really isn’t anything. It’s just a cool thing coincidence. But it is cool, right?
Ateneo Blue Eagles in the PBA Draft (since 2003 when the first graduates of the new program took their talents to the pro loop).
2003 PBA Draft - Glorietta Activity Center
Enrico Villanueva #7
Gec Chia #28
2004 PBA Draft - Glorietta Activity Center
Rich Alvarez #1
Wesley Gonzales #9
Epok Quimpo #23
2005 PBA Draft - Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall
Larry Fonacier #14
Paolo Bugia #17
2006 PBA Draft – Market! Market!
LA Tenorio #4
Magnum Membrere #19
2007 PBA Draft – Market! Market!
JC Intal #4
Doug Kramer #5
Macky Escalona #10
2009 PBA Draft – Market! Market!
Japeth Aguilar #1
2010 PBA Draft – Market! Market!
Nonoy Baclao #1
Rabeh Al-Hussaini #2
Ford Arao #14
Jai Reyes #18
2011 PBA Draft - Robinson’s Place Ermita
Eric Salamat #13
2012 PBA Draft - Robinson’s Place Ermita
Chris Tiu #7
Emman Monfort #16
Bacon Austria #27
Jason Escueta #30
2013 PBA Draft - Robinson’s Place Ermita
Greg Slaughter #1
Ryan Buenafe #8
Justin Chua #10
Nico Salva #11
JP Erram #15
Chris Sumalinog #46
2014 PBA Draft - Robinson’s Place Ermita
Juami Tiongson #12
Frank Golla #23
* The one Blue Eagle not be drafted is Jobe Nkemakolam who before he applied for the draft had taken a sabbatical from the game. That hurt his chances.