As expected, powerhouse San Miguel Beer selected Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger as the No. 1 pick in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) 2017 Rookie Annual Draft on Sunday at the Robinson’s Place Manila in Ermita, Manila.
A pick acquired from Kia in a controversial deal approved by PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa, the Beermen formed a deadly Twin Tower with the acquisition of six-foot-eight Standhardinger, who will team up with four-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) June Mar Fajardo.
“I’m really good and very excited that I can play alongside with the MVP June Mar Fajardo. I just want to play my game and help the team win more championships,” said Standhardinger, who was the naturalized player of Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asian Cup in Lebanon and 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
But San Miguel has to wait for six months as the 29-year old Standhardinger has a commitment to fulfill with the Hong Kong Eastern Lions in the Asean Basketball League, which kicks off on November 17.
Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) selected versatile guard Kiefer Ravena as its second overall pick while Blackwater picked former Far Eastern University big man Reymar Jose as No. 3 overall pick,
Phoenix Petroleum, under new head coach Louie Alas, went to former La Salle forward Jason Perkins for fourth overall selection while Alaska tabbed Jeron Teng at No. 5
GlobalPort made the biggest surprise in the draft after picking Filipino-American Robbie Hendon at No. 6 while Rey Nambatac, the Letran slasher, went to Rain or Shine at seventh.
The Fuel Masters used their No. 8 pick in selecting Sidney Onwubere, a hardworking center from Emilio Aguinaldo College.
TNT KaTropa chose Mark Tallo and Jon Jon Gabriel for its 10th and 11th picks, respectively while newly-crowned Governors’ Cup champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel took former University of the Philippines sniper Jett Manuel at No. 12 to end the first round.
Meanwhile, GlobalPort team governor Eric Arejola confirmed that Pido Jarencio will handle Batang Pier in the coming season as Franz Pumaren took a leave of absence to focus on his commitment with Adamson University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
Jarencio, the former Universe of Santo Tomas coach, served as coach for the Batang Pier from the 2014 season before being appointed as GlobalPort’s head of basketball operations in May 2016.