After a student-cager ends his collegiate career, he starts to review. But he doesn’t study a textbook or a presentation — it’s the mock drafts by reputable publications.
Mock drafts were the agony of Allyn Bulanadi during the build-up to the 2019 PBA Rookie Draft.
“Kasabayan mo sila Kuya Mike [Ayonayon], mabibigat kung sa puwestuhan lang. Nag-ano pa nga ako eh, nililista ko pa tapos may mga mock draft pa noon. Tinitignan ko ‘yung mga mock draft,” Bulanadi shared during The CPT Crossover Podcast, presented by SMART Sports and supported by LGR Sportswear.
Unlike many high picks, the 6-foot-2 swingman did not win a championship with San Sebastian College-Recoletos.
That is why he made sure to impress with Basilan-Jumbo Plastic in the MPBL, posting norms of 19.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.2 assists in 13 games played.
Still, it was not enough to propel him to the upper echelon of the first round.
“Karamihan kasi sa mock draft, mga nasa eight or nine ako.”
But then a twist happened.
Weeks after NCAA Season 95 had ended, Phenom Sports president Jax Chua, SMART Sports’ Epok Quimpo, and Gilas program director Tab Baldwin were concocting something — the new batch of Cadets. And the 23-year-old Davaoeño was on their list.
He can never forget the day he received “the call”.
“Ayun, nasa GenSan kami noon, may game kami sa GenSan. Tinawagan ako noon na ayun nga, kasama daw ako sa Gilas Cadets,” Bulanadi recalled of that day (November 28, 2019) that saw Basilan take down Gen San, 85-79.
“Hindi pa ako naniwala eh. Sabi ko, ‘Wrong number yata kayo ah?'”
With the selection, Bulanadi did not need to enter the draft proper. Instead, Alaska took him as a special pick.
His fears were allayed days before the draft.
“Buti napili sa special draft. Kahit papaano nagpapasalamat naman ako sa Gilas kasi nasilip nila ‘yung potential ko eh, kaya thankful and blessed ako. “