For the first time in the 43-year history of he the Philippine Basketball Association, the annual Rookie Draft will be held in the midst of the ongoing Governors’ Cup Finals.
And it’s not a bad thing, according to Alex Compton. The unusual schedule is mostly because of the league’s noble act of supporting Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers this season.
“I’ll just comment publicly on the Draft – yeah, it’s definitely weird having it in the middle of the series,” Compton said, commending the league for backing Gilas all year long.
“But you know why we’re having it? Cause the league’s supporting the national team!”
Indeed, the PBA halted its games for five windows, extending the season and the draft until December from an original season culmination in October.
In support of national team mentor head coach Yeng Guiao, Asia’s oldest professional league had all players whom Guiao desired available, leading to the formation of the ‘strongest and deepest’ 20-man national team training pool.
For Compton, it’s the way it is, and the way it should be, since the delay is rooted in the league’s undeniable support of Gilas in its bid to qualify to the prestigious FIBA World Cup next year in China.
“It’s how it should be. And then we all adjust. That doesn’t have negative ramifications, doesn’t give Magnolia a disadvantage, doesn’t give us a disadvantage,” he added.
“It’s called supporting the national team. It’s how it should be.”
The only downside is Alaska have not thought or even talked about the draft yet, despite it happening tomorrow.
“Honestly, while there have been some slight discussions, I’m more worried about Magnolia,” he lamented, still clearly stuck on Alaska’s backbreaking 78-79 loss at the buzzer against Magnolia late Friday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
“Maybe if I’d talked a little more, we would have gotten that one possession that got us the win in Game Five. Who knows?”
Nevertheless, Compton is still upbeat over the player they will land with the ninth pick, especially with this solid guard-heavy draft pool.
“Yes, we’ll see. We drafted Kevin Racal at eleventh, while Rome De La Rosa was a thirteenth pick, and I love both of those guys. I think they’re both doing a great job, and they’re both in the Finals right now,” he added.
“I’m sure there’s a player out there.”
The Hotshots have the same problem, as they are yet to sit down for draft matters tomorrow, according to head coach Chito Victolero.
“Right now, wala pa kaming decision talaga.
“We’ll have a short meeting on Sunday, then we will try to siguro pag-usapan yun. Tomorrow, we’ll need to rest and on Sunday, we’ll meet about it,” he said.
And while Victolero admitted Magnolia are still undecided on what position they need to bolster their roster, he is confident that he can tap a solid player with the 10th pick.
“I don’t know eh. Hindi pa nga naming alam kung wing or big. Hindi pa namin alam,” he said. “Pero mayroon namang solid diyan.
“I think, hanggang second round pa nga.”