Aldin Ayo bares Converge in search for 'versatile' big in PBA Draft

Converge head coach Aldin Ayo said that he is looking for a versatile big man in the PBA Draft. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—Coach Aldin Ayo said that Converge is looking to take an efficient two-way big man during the PBA Draft on Sunday at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati.

"Probably, we're going to look for a player who is versatile enough na makakapuno sa kulang namin, especially sa depensa. Ang butas namin talaga ay ceiling. Kulang kami sa malaki, and at the same time, kulang kami sa offense," said Ayo, who attended the first day of the draft combine on Wednesday at the Ynares Sports Arena.

However, before fans can further speculate that Converge is locking in power forward Balti Baltazar as the first overall pick of the draft, Ayo clarified that nothing is cast in stone just yet.

"Nagde-desisyon pa kami. Pinag-uusapan pa namin ni Boss Jacob [Lao] and Gov. Archen [Cayabyab] kung sino," Ayo further said.

"Kung sino man yun, yun ang dedesisyunan ng management and the coaching staff."

He then said that the FiberXers' front office is now facing a "good problem" because the draft class suddenly became stacked just before the application deadline elapsed.

"One month before the deadline, akala natin boring yung drafting, and during the last week, all of a sudden, everything became interesting because of yung mga humabol na magagaling na mga players. Akala nga natin hindi malalim, pero noong dumating na sina [Sedrick] Barefield, [Jonnel] Poli[carpio], at yung mga unexpected, biglang naging malalim yung pool," Ayo said.

"Mapapaisip ka, and may mga players na nasa pool na not every batch may mga ganoong mga players. May mga players dito na pwede mong gawing foundation ng program. May mga players dito na they'll be good for 5-7 years. Magiging competitive yung program mo as long as you get them."

Although he did not specifically mention if Baltazar, Barefield, and Policarpio are in it, Ayo bared that four players are on his shortlist on who to draft with the first overall pick.

However, he will dwindle the shortlist in number in the next few days before he finally makes a decision on who to select.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno