DON’T be surprised if AMA Online Education pulls off a surprise today in the PBA D-League draft.
Titans coach Mark Herrera said they are still undecided on who will they tab as the first pick overall in the draft proceedings at the league office in Libis.
Fil-Am forward Jamie Malonzo is tipped to emerge as the No. 1 pick but Herrera said they are still pondering on whether to chose the 6-foot-6 Malonzo or relatively-unknown Reed Baclig, who is already playing for the Titans.
“Undecided pa rin kami, puwedeng si (Jamie) Malonzo or si Reed Baclig, iyong school-based player namin. Ang alam ko kasi, may mga problem pa si Malonzo sa papers niya,” Herrera told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
“Last year kasi, when we drafted Joshua Munzon, ako lahat nag-asikaso ng mga problem niya with his papers. Ayaw ko lang maulit iyon,” he added.
A total of 137 hopefuls have applied for the draft, 17 of them Fil-foreigners, with their sights trained on showing their wares in the Aspirant’s Cup set to kick off on Feb. 13.
Former University of the Philippines wingman and Gilas Pilipinas pool member Jaydee Tungcab, former La Salle and Batang Gilas shooter Jollo Go, former UAAP Juniors’ MVP and Adamson playmaker Jerie Pingoy, Cebuano standouts Darell Menina and Jaybie Mantilla, and former Centro Escolar University gunner Judel Fuentes are the other players who could be selected in the first round.
Herrera yesterday talked to different players who AMA Online Education could possibly select.
“Gusto ko kapag na-draft namin, sure na makakapaglaro sa amin. Kasi kapag kinuha namin tapos hindi naman makapapag-laro sa amin, sayang lang ‘di ba? Kakausap ako ng possible players na pwede naming kunin. Siyempre marami kaming pag-uusapan like iyong sa allowance niya at iba pa,” explained Herrera.
“Parang iyong kay Jeron Teng dati, madali kausap sila ma’am Susan (Teng, Jeron’s mother).”