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Aug 22, 2014
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As we gear up for Gilas Pilipinas' stint in the FIBA World Cup, the teams in the PBA are also slowly making their own preparations for the upcoming 40th season of the local pro league. The real grind however starts at the PBA Rookie Draft on Sunday, August 24, at the Robinson's Place Manila Midtown Atrium, for which some of the best young talents in the country have signed up.

While we won't be seeing Bobby Ray Parks Jr. sitting with the 87 draft prospects (boo!), we'll have plenty of other names to cheer for. Fil-foreign standouts such as Stanley Pringle, Chris Banchero and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser have thrown in their names to the mix. Collegiate star and national team cadet standout Kevin Alas submitted his name right at the deadline to add some more star power to this year's draft class.

Speaking of star power, the most popular prospect in the draft didn't even play in the UAAP or the NCAA; the "Pambansang Kamao," Manny Pacquiao, momentarily takes off his gloves in exchange for a playboard and a basketball as the playing head coach of new expansion team, KIA Motors. Take that, Jawo! 

Aside from KIA, Blackwater Sports Elite have also joined the league through expansion while their PBA D-League rival, the NLEX Road Warriors, have acquired the Air 21 Express franchise. Couple all that with San Mig Coffee's quest to extend their Grand Slam, the MVP teams' coaching shuffle (Norman Black to Meralco, Jong Uichico to Talk N' Text, Ryan Gregorio to PMC [Pahinga Muna, Coach]), and every ka-Barangay's hopes for a better showing for Ginebra, PBA Season 40 has all the makings of a barn burner.     

But before we pop a vein thinking of all the wonderful things that could happen this season, Rookie Draft muna! We went through the list of applicants, asked our fellow tambay-na-adik-sa-basketball, and went through hours upon hours of PornHub Googling and YouTube videos to come up with this: FHM's 2014 PBA Rookie Mock Draft!

We only selected for the first round, though. "Is it because you're lazy f*cks?" you might ask. NO! Because this year's pool is too deep, we don't want to fry our feeling basketball analyst brains. Also, we kind of want to get this thing right... So here now are the first 12 players who will be picked to suit up and be instant idols for the PBA!


FIRST PICK: Globalport Batang Pier

STANLEY PRINGLE
(5'11", PG)

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pba 2014 draft

ASEAN Basketball League Stats (Indonesia Warriors): 18.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 6.2 apg, 1.2 spg

After much drama surrounding his rumored salary demands, Pringle looks like he'll be the first overall pick in the upcoming draft. He's dominated the competition in the ABL for the past couple of seasons, and he's been around; he played college at Penn State, and played in Belgium, Poland, and Ukraine before ending up with Indonesia. Now, he's ready to play in the PBA, and we're excited to see how he pairs up with Globalport's resident "bro," Terrence Romeo.


Video via Samuel Soetanto on YouTube

What he can bring to the table: Skills honed by international experience. He's a great ball handler and facilitator, has tremendous range, has the balls to take the big shots, and could give Usain Bolt a run for his money with his speed. He also has one of the meanest crossovers we've seen, a thing of beauty that would make even Allen Iverson proud. He's dangerous on the break, with the ability to stop-and-pop for a jumper and the athleticism to attack the hoop.

If ever he doesn't live up to expectations, it's because: We sold him too much here. Especially on the Usain Bolt part. 

FHM's imbentong nickname: Mr. Pringle(s)–you can't stop him once he's poppin'


SECOND PICK: Rain Or Shine Elastopainters

MATT GANUELAS-ROSSER
(
6'4", SF)

pba 2014 draft
PBA D-League Stats (NLEX Road Warriors):
7.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 2.0 bpg

We learned of Gabe Norwood because of his prolific stint with the national team before he entered the PBA draft. Ganuelas looks like he's following the same path, just slightly without the "prolific" part. He'll be a great fit to a Rain or Shine team known for their physical defense and fastbreaks. 

What he can bring to the table: A defensive stopper who's a ball of energy away from the ball. We'll probably see WWE Tag Team-style putback dunks when he and Norwood go after those offensive rebounds. 


Video via Matthew Rosser on YouTube

If ever he doesn't live up to expectations, it's because: He spent too much time learning all of the profanities Coach Yeng Guiao has shouted either to him, his teammates, or the referees. Seriously though, the Rain or Shine bench has enough depth to bury him in the rotation if he doesn't play right. Coach Yeng is known to value hard work over big names.

FHM's imbentong nickname: The Veep. Move over "The Fast and the Furious," and make way for the President (Norwood) and his Vice President!

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NEXT: The next pogi superstar! 


Photos via Spin.ph
Special thanks to Gatorade Philippines for the official measurements from the Draft Combine
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