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Philippines sportsA quick look on this year’s top PBA picks

By WAYLON GALVEZ | http://www.mb.com.ph/

Here’s the probable Top 10 picks of the PBA Rookie Draft:

At 6-foot-7, Al-Hussaini is without a doubt the best post player among the 66 applicants. He has proved his worth with back-to-back titles with Ateneo in the UAAP (2008 and 2009), season MVP plum (‘08) and Finals MVP trophy (‘09).

Air21, No. 2, NOY BACLAO
This position is crucial for the Express after Doug Kramer was dealt to Rain or Shine last month. The lanky 6-foot 6 Baclao is no doubt the best complement for Al-Hussaini. Though he is more of a defensive player specializing in blocking shots and rebounding, he showed during his stint with the Blue Eagles that he can also score, inside and outside.

Here’s now the tricky part for Air21. While they are sold on selecting Al-Hussaini and Baclao with the first two picks in the Draft, management and even the coaching staff is contemplating on the third overall pick.

However, reading between the lines, coach Yeng Guiao said that they are hoping to use the pick with the player who is athletic and can help the team in rebounding.

Talk ‘N Text, No. 4, JIMBO AQUINO
The team is actually looking for a legitimate center. Although Ali Peek has rejoined the team, TNT coach Chot Reyes said they still need another legitimate center. Well, nobody fits the description than 6-foot-1 Jimbo Aquino.

A shooting guard who helped San Sebastian in its title run in the NCAA last year, Aquino will be a good addition to TNT’s backcourt with the absence of Mac Cardona, who was dealt to Meralco.

Rain or Shine, No. 5, SEAN MICHAEL ANTHONY
Rain or Shine is another team looking for help in the middle, but sans high-quality center in the Draft, the team might settle for its next concern, a back-up for resident wingman Gabe Norwood.

Rain or Shine may opt for Sean Michael Anthony, a 6-foot-4 200-pound wingman who played college ball at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Air21, No. 6, REY GUEVARRA
After filling the spots at center, power forward and small forward, Air21 hopes to add another shooter on its roster. A wingman during his college days with the Letran Knights, the 6-foot-2 Rey Guevarra has developed an outside shot during his brief stint with the Smart-Gilas Pilipinas.

Barangay Ginebra, No. 7, JOHN WILSON
Like TNT and Rain or Shine, Barangay Ginebra is also looking for a bigman. John Wilson could be the best talent available, having won the NCAA MVP in 2008 after helping the Jose Rizal University Bombers to a Finals stint.

Barangay Ginebra, No. 8, SHAWN GABRIEL WEINSTEIN
While the Kings is loaded at the guard spot, adding another point guard could benefit the team in the long run, particularly with the nagging injuries of 2009 MVP Jayjey Helterbrand, Celino Cruz and Mike Cortez.

At 5-foot-11, it’s actually hard to pass up on the talent of Weinstein, having played in the tough Israel Super League as teammate of former B-Meg import Tony Washam.

B-Meg Derby Ace, No. 9, CLAIFORD ARAO
With a new coach in Jorge Gallent, the team hopes to add ceiling and the 6-foot-6 Claiford Arao might help the team in rebounding. A former Ateneo player, Arao can bang bodies inside the shaded with the big guys.

However, he can also contribute on offense with his perimeter shooting. He’s a good reliever for mainstays Rafi Reavis.

Alaska, No. 10, JAI REYES
Alaska has survived the previous season capped with a Fiesta Cup championship with one legitimate point guard in LA Tenorio. It’s time to bring a back-up for the wily point guard, and Jai Reyes can easily fill that spot for Tim Cone.

A smart playmaker with the penchant for knocking down big shots, he was the chief point guard for Ateneo in ‘08 and in ‘09.




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