Coach Tab says 2019 PBA Draft just the start for Ateneo's pro production line

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 07, 2019 10:41 AM
Coach Tab says 2019 PBA Draft just the start for Ateneo
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Ateneo de Manila University could have as many as six products get their names called in the 2019 PBA Draft.

Nieto twins Mike and Matt, Aaron Black, Issac Go, and Vince Tolentino, and Adrian Wong have all declared for the rookie selection process on Sunday - and have good to great shots at turning their PBA dream into reality.

According to head coach Tab Baldwin, the Blue Eagles' multi-titled mentor of the last four years, this is an exciting time to be a believer of the blue and white. "I'm very excited. We haven't seen them realize their goals yet, but when opportunity seems to be there, I'm very excited," he said.

He then continued, "I hope to see all of them picked very early. I don't know whether they will be because that's up to PBA teams and coaches, but I'll be there with them, supporting them."

Of the championship core that has led Ateneo's three-peat, only Thirdy Ravena has stayed away from the draft for now.

Still, the fact that they have six products on deck to make the leap is nothing but a proud moment for the Katipunan-based squad.

Make no mistake, though, this is just the start of many, many more Blue Eagles turning pro. "I don't feel like it's a culmination. Maybe that's for (the players), but for our program, I feel like it's the beginning. We're hoping to see all six of them picked and launching their careers," coach Tab said.

Indeed, even after all six get drafted, Ateneo still has a treasure trove of talent in the likes of SJ Belangel, Gian Mamuyac, and Will Navarro.

And with Baldwin guiding them, it's not a farfetched idea that sooner than later, they will be getting drafted themselves.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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