October 04, 2023

Draft redux: Redoing the 2015 PBA Draft

Draft redux: Redoing the 2015 PBA Draft
Art by Royce Nicdao

The draft is a combination of science, statistics, and math, but it is also mostly luck and perhaps destiny.

One proof of that is the 2015 PBA Draft, which is shaping up to be one of the most important in league history.

That's because this draft was loaded with talent, including the franchise-altering variety.

We've already done the redraft for 2018, 2017, and 2016.

Here's the 2015 PBA Redraft:

1st pick: Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters – Scottie Thompson [Original pick: Mo Tautuaa]

This one is a no-brainer. Thompson has become arguably one of the top all-around players in the PBA, with the ability to put up big numbers game in and game out. He has also proven to be clutch, making big play after big play for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in its championship runs. With the Tropang Texters, Thompson gets to be part of a talented team as well, where his all-around skills would surely flourish, as they have with Ginebra.

2nd pick: Mahinda Enforcer – Troy Rosario [Original pick: Troy Rosario]

Aside from Thompson, Rosario remains the only member of this draft to be selected to any PBA Mythical Team. The 6-foot-7 forward was already a franchise player when the Mahindra Enforcer drafted him at second overall. That's why fans went nuts when Rosario was traded to the Tropang Texters days later after the draft. Rosario eventually became an integral part of TNT's culture for years, winning the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup title before getting traded to the Blackwater Bossing last year.

3rd pick: Rain or Shine Elastro Painters – Chris Newsome [Original pick: Maverick Ahanmisi]

Newsome, Thompson, and Aljon Mariano are the only other players in this list who have stayed with the same team since the 2015 PBA Draft. That speaks a lot about the 2016 Rookie of the Year. Newsome has averaged no less than 12 points per game since his rookie year, and he posted a career season last year. The 32-year-old guard is also a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist and is considered as one of the league’s very best players.

4th pick: Meralco Bolts – Mo Tautuaa [Original pick: Chris Newsome]

Tautuaa might not be the “June Mar Fajardo stopper” he was purported to be years ago, but the Fil-Tongan has steadily improved—even earning the 2019 PBA Most Improved Player award. For a Bolts team lacking size that time, Tautaa would have been the perfect fit. Now, Mo is a SEA Games gold medalist and a PBA champion. Perhaps coincidentally, he’s now teammates with The Kraken.

5th pick: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel – Baser Amer [Original pick: Scottie Thompson]

Amer already has three PBA All-Star appearances under his name, and was even hailed PBA All-Star Game MVP in 2018. He has proven to be a steady scorer and playmaker, first with the Bolts and now with the Bossing. Imagine him under the guidance of coach Tim Cone. Amer could have been the star guard for the crowd darlings, but fate had other plans.

6th pick: NLEX Road Warriors – Maverick Ahanmisi [Original pick: Garvo Lanete]

Ahanmisi won the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title as a rookie, and for a long time, looked firmly on a path to stardom. Maybe things would have been different for the 6-foot-2 guard if he played more years under coach Yeng Guiao and theRoad Warriors.

7th pick: Meralco Bolts – Don Trollano [Original pick: Baser Amer]

It took time, but like a diesel engine, Trollano heated up as he played more and more. The forward from the Adamson Soaring Falcons literally improved his scoring average since 2015 (except for the 2021 season). The previous season was his best year yet as he posted career-high numbers in points, assists, steals, and field goal percentage. The Bolts could have surely used the services of Trollano during those finals series against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

8th pick: Star Hotshots – Simon Enciso [Original pick: Norbert Torres]

This draft was pre-Paul Lee, so the Hotshots could sure have used someone at the guard position to help their aging superstars. Enciso has proven over time that he can light it up from outside and set up an offense, too.

9th pick: Blackwater Elite – Glenn Khobuntin [Original pick: Art dela Cruz]

Khobuntin could have been what the Blackwater Elite needed way back when. Coming off a historic UAAP championship with the NU Bulldogs, the defensive forward seemed to have the makings of a critical piece in building a winning culture for a franchise that is still struggling to find its winning ways in the league. Khobuntin knows how to help a squad win a title. His two titles with the TNT franchise are proof of that.

10th pick: NLEX Road Warriors – Mike DiGregorio [Original pick: Glenn Khobuntin]

If Thompson didn’t turn out to be the MVP, DiGregorio could have been the biggest success story of this draft, just in terms of where he was drafted. Originally taken in the 4th round, DiGregorio would definitely have flourished under Coach Yeng’s “everybody gets to eat” system in NLEX.

11th pick: Alaska Aces – Aljon Mariano [Original pick: Kevin Racal]

Mariano is a proof that you don’t always need to be the team’s superstar to have a successful career. The former UST Growling Tiger found his niche in Barangay Ginebra as a stopper who could help out offensively just by working hard. Another celebrated and proud franchise like the Alaska Aces could have used the services of a loyal and hardworking player.

12th pick: Rain or Shine Elasto Painters – Norbert Torres [Original pick: Josan Nimes]

Torres eventually ended up with the Elasto Painters, and it is with them that the former De La Salle Green Archers big man found success, so why not start with ROS?