The PBA Stands to Benefit from a Talent-Loaded Draft if Teams Retain Their Top Picks

PBA Draft Class Reignites Fans’ Interest, but Parity Among Teams Needed, says Rain or Shine Coach Yeng Guiao

In what promises to be an exciting season for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), the league’s talent-rich draft class has captured the attention of fans. However, for the league to truly flourish, Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao believes that the addition of new talents must lead to a balance of power between teams.

Guiao, known for his outspokenness, expressed his delight at the depth of this year’s PBA Rookie Draft, emphasizing that it will enable lower-performing teams to compete against the top-tier squads. Teams like Terrafirma, Blackwater, NorthPort, Phoenix, Rain or Shine, and Converge have the opportunity to bridge the talent gap with powerhouse teams such as San Miguel, Ginebra, TNT, and Magnolia, who had no early draft picks.

“The talent level is there. If you are a team looking to strengthen your lineup now, this is the time, [with a] record number of draftees, a very deep level of talent,” Guiao commented. He also highlighted the advantage of teams that had early picks, stating, “It’s good that the strong teams didn’t have any early picks. TNT, SMB, Magnolia, and Ginebra didn’t get any early selections.”

However, the challenge for the league lies in ensuring that teams retain their top picks and make sustainable growth in their campaigns. Guiao warned against trading top draft picks to already dominant squads, describing it as an “incubation” process.

Since 2013, no first overall pick has remained with the team that drafted them. Even last season’s top pick, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, now plays for NLEX after being traded by Blackwater. Terrafirma, which had three of the last four top picks before this draft, no longer has any of those players on its roster.

“If you’re serious about competing, this is the time for you to pick your talent and develop that talent. If you’re not serious, then you’re just an incubator,” Guiao asserted. He also stressed the importance of parity to improve the league’s quality, noting the rapid progress of other Asian professional leagues.

The PBA season is expected to generate renewed excitement among fans, thanks to the talented crop of rookies. However, the league must address the issue of parity among teams to ensure a more level playing field and sustain its growth in the future.

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