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Standhardinger, Ravena headline 2017 PBA Draft class

By Mark Mañez

MANILA–Christian Standhardinger and Kiefer Ravena led this year’s Gatorade PBA Rookie Draft class at the jampacked Robinsons Place Manila Atrium Sunday afternoon.

Standhardinger, the top overall pick, played out of University of Hawaii and was drafted by the San Miguel Beermen. He is expected to go hand-in-hand with reigning MVP Junemar Fajardo and shed terror inside the shaded area.

Kia Picanto initially held the rights for the top pick before it ended up with San Miguel in a controversial trade on Friday.

[Related Story: On third try, Kia-SMB trade for top pick finally approved]

Former Ateneo Blue Eagle Kiefer Ravena went to the NLEX Road Warriors as their second overall pick in this year’s draft.

Before finally deciding to go pro, Ravena, son of PBA legend Ferdinand Ravena, also had stints in different leagues first with Mighty Sports (PCBL) and Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League.

The spitfire guard also brought honor Gilas Pilipinas, winning dozens of medals including four Southeast Asian Games gold medals and now leads the all-time medalists for basketball. He since played for the Gilas cadets at the 2011 Jakarta-Palembang edition and together with Standhardinger at the Kuala Lumpur Games last August.

Also standing out in this year’s draft is Far Eastern University Tamaraw bruiser Reymar Jose (selected by Blackwater Elite as the third pick), DLSU Green Archers Jason Perkins and Jeron Teng (fourth and fifth picks by Phoenix Fuel Masters and Alaska respectively), Fil-American Robbie Herndon (GlobalPort, sixth), Letran Knight Rey Nambatac (Rain or Shine, seventh), Sidney Onwubere (Phoenix, eighth), Lervin Flores (Star, ninth), Mark Tallo and Jon Gabriel (TNT KaTropa, 10th and 11th picks) and Engineer Jett Manuel (Barangay Ginebra, 12th).

Among the notable draftees picked in the second round by their respective teams are Julian Sargent (Blackwater), Louie Vigil (San Miguel), Davon Potts (Alaska), and Gwynne Capacio (Star).

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