By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
THE Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters and Blackwater Bossing are out to shore up their roster for the coming Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season and looking at every option they have, including tapping the late picks they have in the recent rookie draft.
Among the busier teams in the draft proceedings last weekend, both the Fuel Masters and Bossing were pleased with the selections they had, and now in the process of evaluating where these players fit in.
Phoenix picked Letran’s Larry Muyang seventh in the opening round then Fil-foreigner Nick Demusis (18th) and Aljun Melecio (19th) in the second round.
It then got Reymar Caduyac (third round), Max Henstchel (fourth round), and Jerie Pingoy (fifth round) after.
For Fuel Masters coach Topex Robinson, all the players they got from the draft will be evaluated and given the chance to get a crack at a roster spot.
“Everyone deserves a chance. Now that I’m a coach, it’s my opportunity to give chance to others,” the Phoenix coach, the 44th pick in the 2001 rookie draft, was quoted as saying by pba.ph.
Added focus was given to Mr. Pingoy, who was emotional after hearing his name called in the fifth round of the draft.
Mr. Pingoy’s basketball journey has been a roller-coaster one, including transferring schools in college, which did not allow him to showcase what he could as a player after being a high-profile juniors recruit.
“I can’t guarantee anything to (Jerie) Pingoy because everything will depend on the choices that he will make,” the coach said.
The same applies to the others, Mr. Robinson reiterated.
Meanwhile, Blackwater is also having the same approach as they address its needs.
The renamed Bossing team did not have a pick in the first round but had two in the second, which they used to get Rey Mark Acuno (14th) and Joshua Torralba (15th).
Blackwater selected Andre Paras, son of PBA legend Benjie, in the third round, Jun Manzo (fourth), Kim Bayquin (fifth), and Jeson Delfinado (sixth).
Mr. Paras, Bossing coach Nash Racela said, is an interesting prospect.
“We’re hoping to get a get big man in the third round and suddenly, he became available for us so we got him,” Mr. Racela shared of the 6’4’ Paras on the official PBA website.
“We actually invited Acuno and Paras to work out with us and we saw what they could do,” said the Blackwater coach as they try to fortify their new-look roster.
The PBA is now targeting to begin its new season on April 18 pending approval from the government over health and safety concerns in relation to the pandemic.
The Ynares Center in Antipolo City is being eyed as a potential venue for the season.