Banal named top pick in regular draft

Raphy Banal (second from right) joins Mac Belo (right) at Blackwater, while Jammer Jamito (second from left) heads for Ginebra. (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Blackwater officially named Raphy Banal the first pick in the regular PBA Draft at the Robinson's Place Manila Atrium on Sunday.

Banal, the son of former player and champion coach Joel, joined Belo at Blackwater as the top pick of the regular draft, which was credited as the second round of the entire PBA Draft.

"Glory to God for giving me the opportunity to play in the professional level. I'm really excited. Blackwater is a young team. We have a lot of potentials and opportunities to grow. I can't wait to play with my teammates," Raphy, who is also known as Ael, told the media after his selection was formalized.

Phoenix, on the other hand, went with its plan of going for a point guard and a big man by tabbing Gelo Alolino second overall and his fellow ex-NU Bulldog Jeoff Javillonar tenth overall.

Ginebra also had two picks in the first regular round that the club used for swingman Jammer Jamito (third overall) and towering center Jericho De Guzman (ninth overall).

Rounding the first round of the regular draft, Mahindra selected Joseph Eriobu, Star got Chris Javier, San Miguel chose Rashawn McCarthy, Meralco took Jonathan Grey, and NLEX drafted Reden Celda.

Appeared to be satisfied already with Cruz and Tolomia respectively, Rain Or Shine and Alaska decided to pass in the regular draft.

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