by Calvin Cordova, Editorial Assistant
Two Cebuanos were picked in the first round of the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft yesterday at the Robinsons Midtown Manila.
The Petron Blaze Boosters, as expected, tabbed former University of Cebu (UC) star June Mar Fajardo as the top overall pick in the draft.
Another Cebuano who made it to the big league was Aldrech Ramos, a native from Balamban town, western Cebu, who was picked fifth by the Barako Bull Energy Cola but traded later to B-Meg.
While the selection of Fajardo, the 6-foot-10 behemoth from Pinamungajan town, Cebu, as the top pick was expected, the succeeding picks were somehow surprising.
The Alaska Aces chose the flashy Calvin Abueva as the second overall pick, choosing the former collegiate MVP over Fil-Am Cliff Hodge.
The Boosters surprisingly passed up on Hodge and nabbed Fil-Am Alex Mallari for the third pick. The high-flying Hodge was finally taken by the Meralco Bolts.
Another Fil-Am Chris Ellis was taken as the sixth overall pick by the Barangay Ginebra Kings.
Surprisingly, shooter Chris Tiu was still available after six picks as he was selected by newly crowned Governors’ Cup champion Rain or Shine as the seventh pick.
Keith Jensen was Ginebra’s eight pick, while league newcomer Global Port Batang Pier ended the first round by taking Vic Manuel and Jason Deuchtman as the ninth and 10 picks, respectively.
The Batang Pier got the ninth pick in a trade with the B-Meg Llamados, who traded Val Acuna and the pick for Sean Anthony.
The Air21 Express picked first in the second round and took six-foot-six Yousef Taha.
Taken next were Dave Marcelo (Barako), Jewel Ponferada (B-Meg), Alfred Mandani (Global Port), Lester Alvarez (Barako), Eman Monfort (Barako), Kelly Nabong (Meralco), Woody Co (Barako), Raffy Reyes (Alaska), Jaypee Belencion (Talk N’ Text).