Dreams were made and crushed during draft day.
The recently concluded PBA Draft was crazy as it was deep. Top prospects got picked later than expected and relative unknowns got up to the stage sooner than those with supposedly more notable names. Some projected sleepers went undrafted and some standouts from the Draft Combine were rightfully given a shot.
PBA fans were clearly hyped as the momentous occasion was unfolding. Seeing their bets wear PBA team caps and jackets, which were two sizes smaller, were a treat. However, not hearing the names they wanted to hear was obviously a bummer. On social media, the die-hards let their feelings known about the wild draft day.
Some pundits had De La Salle Green Archers top scorer Schonny Winston as high as the second overall pick. But instead, he went all the way down to the ninth pick with the Converge FIberXers. Netizen @TalkPBA immediately blamed the tumultuous parting of ways between DLSU and Winston.
“The talent is clearly there but concerns about character is a red flag. The DLSU staff must not have had many nice things to say,” he tweeted.
Fran Yu fans were worried because the spitfire guard wasn’t selected until the fourth round. He was picked 40th overall by NorthPort Batang Pier, which is coached by Bonnie Tan, Yu’s former mentor with the Letran Knights.
“Akala ko 'di pa si Fran Yu [ang] kukuhanin ng NP eh. Kung ako si Fran Yu, magwawala ako,” @gckeunsports tweeted in frustration.
X user @dasnakejake meanwhile, took Yu’s plummet more positively.
“Fran Yu is a steal,” he said.
Terrafirma Dyip made a surprise pick to end the first round as they chose a tall guy named Taylor Miller. According to Ryan Alba, Miller was a pretty good Division 2-level cager.
“Taylor Miller was a D2 guy whose production was very good at that level of play,” posted the Meralco Bolts coaching staff member.
The Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters had a bunch of picks. Several of them were former Ateneo Blue Eagles. One fan was particularly thrilled with the reunion of Phoenix point guard Tyler Tio, second-rounder Raffy Verano, and third-rounder Matthew Daves. Joining this mix is former UP Fighting Maroons star Ricci Rivero.
“SO IT’S TYLER TIO, RAFFY VERANO, AND MATTHEW DAVES NOW FOR PHOENIX HUH DAAAMN,” @gianmamuonly posted.
MPBL standout Jaymar Gimpayan, who was even endorsed by former PBA coach Chris Gavina, had no takers. X user @jayvee16_98 simply can’t believe it.
“Jaymar Gimpayan was undrafted. Wow,” he wrote.
Some eyebrows were raised when former Blue Eagles guard BJ Andrade was picked 10th overall. But a couple of fans were able to justify the FIberXers’ decision.
“I think one big thing a lot of PBA fans seem to forget is that drafting players shouldn’t always be about grabbing the best talent available. Locking in a player that you know would be utilized heavily in the team you’re trying to build is as important. BJ Andrade was a good pick at 10,” @zoenismo tweeted.
Netizen @akoposiisagani0 was relieved that Andrade made it to the top 10. His reason, though, had nothing to do with basketball.
“Nag-aantay ako ng magta-Tagalog sa first round ng PBA draft, buti na lang nag-Tagalog na si BJ Andrade! Haha!" The user said, underscoring that the first rounders were mostly Fil-foreigners.
From the fans’ reactions, one could tell just how intense the 48th season of the PBA is going to be.