Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao praised not only their own draft selections but also how the entire PBA Season 48 Rookie Draft unfolded on Sunday night.
The championship-winning mentor appreciated the depth of the talent pool and noted that powerhouse teams did not have early-round picks.
“Malalim tong draft na ‘to,” he said during the proceedings at the Ayala Malls Market! Market!. “The talent level is there. If you’re a team looking to strengthen your team this is the time. Record number of draftees, very deep talent.
“Tapos ang maganda pa rito, walang draftees ‘yung malalakas na team,” he added.
“Walang nakuha si TNT ng maaga, walang nakuha si San Miguel, walang nakuha si Magnolia ng maaga, walang nakuha si Ginebra ng maaga.”
However, Guiao expressed one concern. The outspoken coach worried that some of their picks might eventually end up with the strong teams he mentioned.
“Ang problema lang, in one or two years, baka sa kanila naman mapunta yung mga na-pick natin ngayon. Parang incubation lang nangyari.
“If you’re serious in competing, this is the time for you to pick your talent and develop that talent — if you’re serious. Kung ‘di ka serious, magiging incubator ka lang,” he lamented.
Guiao and Rain or Shine capitalized on this deep draft, selecting a total of seven players, including three promising big men.
The Elasto Painters secured Luis Villegas and Keith Datu with the third and fourth picks, respectively, before choosing Henry Galinato as the 15th overall pick.
Guiao emphasized that it’s crucial for the team to plan for the future, especially since players like Beau Belga, Jewel Ponferrada, and Mark Borboran are aging.
“Kailangan na namin mag-isip ng future namin,” he said. “Beau, Jewel and Mark Borboran, our bigs, they’re getting a little older so we need a new generation of big men. Itong mga nakuha namin, we’re hoping that they can take over.
“At the same time mag-ooverlap pa sila nina Beau, so it’s also a good time to mentor these young guys and maybe transfer some knowledge and some experience to these guys para mapabilis din ‘yung adjustment nila.”