Yeng Guiao weighing options regarding ROS's 5 early PBA Draft picks

Rain Or Shine has a stacked "team of the future" but also has five early picks in the PBA Draft. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Rain Or Shine's "war room" is facing a dilemma ahead of the PBA Draft.

The team currently has a young core that had proven last season to be a potential title contender in the coming years based on how they made the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.

However, they too have a grand total of five picks through the first two rounds of Sunday's draft event at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati, including back-to-back picks in the first round.

Head coach Yeng Guiao admitted on Thursday that the room might not be enough for the incoming rookies to make the team's opening night roster.

"We do not have many slots in our team, so kahit makakuha ka nung mga nasa second round, hindi mo na mailulugar doon sa regular lineup," Guiao said when he dropped by the Ynares Sports Arena here for the final day of the draft combine on Thursday.

The Elasto Painters own the eighth overall pick of the draft, and they also have the first-round pick that originally belonged to the TNT Tropang Giga.

TNT first sent their supposed pick to Blackwater in a three-team swap that traded Don Trollano to NLEX, which then sent a 2021 first-round selection to the PLDT franchise in the process, turning out to be Mikey Williams.

The pick that would become the seventh selection of Sunday's draft ended up with ROS in the trade shipping Rey Nambatac to the Ever Bilena franchise.

The Elasto Painters also have three second-round picks, the 13th (through a trade with the Converge FiberXers), the 16th (through a trade with the Phoenix Fuel Masters), and the 20th overall selections.

Guiao shared that one option they are looking into is possibly shopping some of his early draft choices.

"We're looking to maybe trade it for future picks--yung mga nangangailangan pa na mga teams. We're actually exploring that," he further said.

However, the feisty mentor also said that if no trade agreement would be made in the coming days, he intends to use his second-round picks.

"Kung wala naman, we will still draft in the second round, and we will have a good problem. We will see how they are in practice, and then we will have to decide," added Guiao, who has been known over the years to be hitting jackpots in the second round, the most recent case being surprise Rookie of the Year candidate Adrian Nocum.

Regarding his plans in the first round, Guiao said that he would look for the best players available come the seventh and eighth picks.

However, Guiao revealed that he is also putting into consideration drafting a player who could fill the void left by Nambatac.

"Tingin ko, kung hindi man right away, pero siguro may talent na pwedeng ma-approximate yung ipinalit nila doon sa pagtre-trade namin kay Rey," Guiao further said.

The multi-titled mentor also said that ROS is "certainly" considering drafting Dave Ildefonso with either of their two first-rounders to join forces with older brother Shaun if the former Suwon guard, who is set to suit up for Strong Group Athletics for the Jones Cup, remains available after six picks.

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