Where to, Ara?
ABS-CBN Sports on May 26, 2016 04:59 PM
Ara Galang could end up as this year's PSL Rookie Draft top overall pick but not for team where her former La Salle teammates are playing.
Drama and suspense will be the main flavor when the Philippine Superliga (PSL) holds its Annual Rookie Draft Friday at the Music Hall Oval Venue of the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
Ara Galang of reining UAAP champion La Salle and former NCAA Best Attacker CJ Rosario of Arellano U will banner the 16 rookie aspirants in the third staging of the draft starting 5:00 p.m.
Galang, the 21-year old former UAAP Most Valuable Player, was the talk of the town after declaring that she will not throw her hat into the draft pool to focus on her academics while recuperating from a knee injury.
But in a stunning development, Galang showed up in the Rookie Camp at The Arena in San Juan last Tuesday, sparking speculations that she will be joining the selection process and might even land as the top overall pick.
She told league officials that she will be joining the draft, hoping to end up with the new-look F2 Logistics, which will be bannered by Mika Reyes, Cyd Demecillo, Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy and other former member of the Lady Spikers.
Prior to that, the consensus top pick is Rosario, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker who already gained PSL experience after helping Petron reach the semifinals of a pre-season tournament last month.
The top overall pick will join the prestigious company of former No. 1 picks in Dindin Santiago and Fil-American Iris Tolenada.
RC Cola-Army, the owner of top overall pick, admitted that picking between Galang and Rosario is a “very beautiful problem” since both spikers are capable of becoming a vital piece in their bid to win their fourth PSL crown.
RC Cola-Army will be picking first in the original draft order followed by Generika, Perpetual, Standard Insurance-Navy, F2 Logistics, Cignal, Petron and Foton, which won the PSL Grand Prix crown last year.
“Both of them are very good. They are the rising stars in this league,” said RC Cola-Army coach Kungfu Reyes. “But we haven’t sat down to discuss our draft choice. This is a very crucial decision. We have to do a lot of research and studying before coming up with a choice.”
PSL president Ramon Suzara said this year’s draft will go down as the dramatic and unpredictable selection process due to the implementation of a three-day trading period that could change the complexion and order of the draft.
“We don’t know who will end up with whom,” said Suzara, an executive council member of the FIVB who also holds an important position with the AVC.
“For now, RC Cola-Army owns the top overall pick. But we may never know. Maybe they have already traded their pick to another team to acquire a veteran who can help them win another title. Let’s wait until the draft proper.”
Aside from Galang and Rosario, also expected to be tapped in the first round are former Arellano stalwarts Danna Henson, Shirley Salamagos and Angel Legacion as well as Asi Soliven of National University, Mary Grace Berte of Holy Cross of Davao and Marlyn Llagoso and Jerra Mae Pacino of Southwestern University in Cebu.
Also in the pool are Renelyn Raterta of University of Mindanao, Jonah Sabete of Bulacan State University, Gen Casugod of Far Eastern University, Sheryl Laborte of University of Negros Occidental, Lourdes Patilano of Adamson University, Sarina Bulan of University of the East and Christine Suyao of Emilio Aguinaldo College.