In a normal draft, JB Bahio would be a surefire first-round pick in the PBA Rookie Draft. However, the depth of the 2023 edition of the annual festivity is nothing short of extraordinary.
With a class that includes the likes of Stephen Holt, Deschon Winston, Luis Villegas, Zavier Lucero, Christian David, and Kenneth Tuffin, the field is definitely talent-rich.
Bahio, who stands at 6-foot-5, is well aware of this, noting that it’s the hand he’s been dealt.
“Lahat naman ng bagay pinaghihirapan. Walang madali,” said the soft-spoken big man from Lapu Lapu City. “Lahat naman kami pangarap mag-PBA. Sana na lang palarin na makuha.”
Bahio had an outstanding senior year at San Beda University, averaging 11.58 points, 9.84 rebounds, and 1.84 assists per game.
Normally, those numbers would stand out, but again, this is an extraordinary draft.
If Bahio had a choice, though, he would prefer to join a team where his former coaches are.
Meanwhile, he flourished under TNT assistant coach Yuri Escueta during his senior year with the Red Lions. He is also under the guidance of Converge consultant Delta Pineda in Pampanga now.
“Siyempre gusto ko mapunta sa kanila kasi sila nakakakilala ng laro ko, lalo na si Tatay,” he said, referring to Jarin.
“Pero siyempre gagawin ko ang lahat para sa team na pipili sa akin. PBA na ‘to e. Kailangan mong ibigay ang lahat sa coach mo.”
With D-day just a day away, Bahio is guaranteeing that he will give his all to whoever gives him a shot.
“Lalo na sa depensa, ‘yun naman talaga ang puhunan ko,” said Bahio, who is under EOG Management.