On October 29th, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) welcomed a brand new class of talented rookies. The 2017 PBA Draft took place at the Robinsons Place in Manila, where families and friends gathered to cheer as their loved one’s reached distinct milestones in their hoop careers.
It took a lot of negotiating to get there, but it was San Miguel with the privilege of picking first. As expected, the Beermen acquired 28-year old Christian Standhardinger. At 6-foot-7, Standhardinger played starting cetner for the most recent Gilas squad and immediately impressed the Filipino basketball community with his wide skillset.
Standhardinger will be joining the reigning four-time MVP, June Mar Fajardo as they set their 2018 campaign to regain championship status.
Kiefer Ravena, the Gilas superstar and former Ateneo basketball sensation was selected second by the NLEX Road Warriors. This means that the team will be adding speed, quickness, and offensive power to their already young fast-paced team with Ravena on board.
Above all, Ravena’s experience nationally and internationally puts him in an advantage in the PBA. This year, NLEX fans can expect a battle-ready Ravena to make an early impression.
Another big name to come out of this year’s draft would be Jeron Teng. After spending some time in the PBA D-League, the former Green Archer was selected by the Alaska Aces. Clearly, the Aces need some rebuilding to do and in the long run, Teng has a lot of potential to become the team’s front liner.
He’s a proven winner wherever his hoop career has taken him. From his early days in Xavier, college ball in DLSU, down to the D-League, Teng strives to improve. Right now, what strikes fans most is his quickness. He’s a lot faster than he used to be and likes to pound the ball more. Pair that with his overwhelming power and he becomes hard to stop.
Overall, Teng has grown into a smarter player – and the Aces seem like the perfect home for him.
The Aces also acquired Davon Potts in the second round. Potts arguably is, the biggest steal of this year’s draft. Reports say other teams, blinded by other rookies, snubbed him. And so, the Aces quickly capitalized on the opportunity.
Potts will mainly be giving the Aces his incredible ability to shoot from three. It’s what he does best, and was proven during his college days in San Beda. During the 92nd season of the NCAA, Potts’ three-point shooting helped his team regain the championship and was then nicknamed “Mr. Fourth Quarter” – for obvious reasons.
All told, 43 candidates were drafted into PBA teams. With these rookies hungry to prove their worth, their shot at the pro leagues is their chance to make it so. Because that’s what the PBA does: taking players with potential and taking them to greater levels.
Catch the new batch of PBA rookies in action on December 17.