Photo from PBA Images

Rain or Shine owns the fifth overall pick in next month’s 2021 PBA Rookie Draft, and head coach Caloy Garcia is eyeing to select the best available talent regardless of the position.

Garcia said the coaching staff and the management have not looked at possible selection since the league’s Commissioner’s Office is still in the course of examining the eligibility of the 97 applicants.

“Personally, for me I’ll take the best available talent,” said Garcia when contacted Tuesday by Manila Bulletin. “But as of now, we are not even looking at the list of applicants because that may change.”

“Yes it looks good to see these players applying, but some players may end up not getting the approval. So we’ll just wait for the eligibility, then once the PBA comes up with the official list, we’ll discuss it with the coaching staff and with the management,”

The office of PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial is expected to release the official list on March 5, nine days before the Rookie Draft.

The first round drafting order has Terrafirma selecting first overall, followed by NorthPort Batang Pier at No. 2, while NLEX has the third (from Blackwater) and fourth picks, before ROS’s turn at fifth overall.

Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok owns the sixth, followed by Alaska at seventh, Terrafirma again at eighth (from San Miguel Beer), Meralco Bolts at ninth, Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters at 10th, NorthPort again at 11th (from TNT) and Philippine Cup champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at 12th overall.

In a separate interview last week with Raymund Yu, who co-owns Rain or Shine with Terry Que, the amiable team owner said he hopes to get a legitimate playmaker in the mold of Ginebra veteran point guard LA Tenorio.

He said that among the ROS guards now, there is no genuine facilitator since both Rey Nambatac and Adrian Wong are scoring guards. The team no longer has veteran guard Ryan Arana and Kris Rosales.

“We really don’t have that point guard – a pass first guard. For me I think we need that type of player,” said Yu, who – aside from Tenorio – also mentioned PBA legend Hector Calma as an example.

“When you look at their games, they’re not actually scorers. Look at LA, he’s not looking to score, but with the right timing, he’ll deliver and give his team points. I think we need that kind of player.”

Garcia said they might find that in the second round of the draft since they have three picks – 17th 22nd and 23rd picks overall. But he said that if that “best talent” is a point guard, he said he wouldn’t hesitate to use the pick in the first round of the draft.

“Who knows? The best available talent is a pure point guard… that solves the problem. But for now, I’m not worried about who will pick in the first round because my thinking is we’ll get the best available talent,” he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (