Christian Standhardinger spearheaded the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft, as the Filipino-German big man was picked by league powerhouse San Miguel Beermen as the first overall pick, Sunday afternoon at Robinson’s Place Manila.
“There will be puso and there will be a lot of fight,” vowed the top overall pick.
The 28-year-old’s arrival to the flagship San Miguel Corporation franchise serves as a huge boost, as he will now form a formidable frontcourt tandem with reigning four-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo.
Meanwhile, the highly-touted Kiefer Ravena was picked second by the NLEX Road Warriors, making the franchise more interesting considering that they have transformed under the great tutelage of coach Yeng Guiao.
And just like any other Draft nights, the 2017 edition also had its fair share of surprises, as La Salle great and second-generation cager Jeron Teng dropped to the fifth pick, when he was chosen by the Alaska Aces.
Raymar Jose was chosen as the third overall pick by the Blackwater Elite, forming a reunion with fellow FEU Tamaraw Mac Belo. D-League MVP and La Sallian Jason Perkins completed the top five picks, as he was picked fourth by Phoenix Fuel Masters.
Filipino-American Robbie Herndon was picked sixth by the Globalport Batang Pier; Rey Nambatac from Letran is the seventh pick by Rain or Shine Elasto Painters; the Fuel Masters acquired EAC Generals’ Sidney Onwubere at eighth; and Star Hotshots selected Arellano Chiefs’ Lervin Flores.
In yet another shocker in the Draft, the TNT Katropa chose Southwestern University shooting guard and former CESAFI MVP Mac Tallo and Marinerong Pilipino slotman Jon Gabriel at the 10th and 11th picks, respectively.
Rounding out the first round is the reigning Governors’ Cup champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, who drafted UP Fighting Maroons combo guard and licensed civil engineer Jett Manuel as the 12th pick.