The Top Five Shooting Guards in the 2013 PBA Draft


Big name big men are the ones bannering the 2013 PBA Draft Class, but we hoop nuts cannot sleep on the guys in the backcourt, too. Despite the considerable depth at the SG spot in the pros, there are still a bunch of marquee shooters and perimeter operators who can, given the right system and environment, make a splash in the PBA.

Jeric Teng is a potential splash-maker in
the next PBA season.
(image from Burnsports.com)

5. Carlo Lastimosa (College of Saint Benilde)
The nephew of PBA great Jojo Lastimosa is certainly one of the most gifted scorers in this draft class. He is quick enough to get to the hole, he can hit from midrange, and he has a penchant for absorbing contact and getting to the line (he had more than 5 FT attempts per game in his last two NCAA seasons). Offensively speaking, I see Lastimosa as maybe becoming somewhat of a PJ Simon-type of player in the pros, but only if he becomes more consistent with his three-point shot. This kid jacked up a combined 80 trey attempts in Seasons 87 and 88 of the NCAA, making good on less than 14%. Yikes. Lastimosa is the kind of player who, depending on how he adjusts to the pro game, will have either a really long career as a veteran role player, or a very short one (where you at, Paul Zamar?).


4. Sam Marata (University of the Philippines)
At 6’2, Marata can play both wing positions in the PBA, and he has the skills to flourish as an off-the-bench/situational shooter. His decision-making and playmaking are both suspect, so I imagine him being limited to an off-the-screen shooter. He also isn’t really known as a penetrator or ball-handler, so he will probably have to polish those things if he wants his pro career to really take off. Still, any self-respecting PBA manager/coach won’t really draft someone like Marata with a playmaker or ball-handler in mind. Marata is on the floor to score and stroke from deep. In his last UAAP season, the former Green Archer and Fighting Maroon attempted more than 8 triples per game. Depending on your perspective, that could either mean he’s fearless or careless. He’s very streaky, though, which the pro game loves, especially when a team needs a bunch of threes to trim a late deficit. Marata hit better than 2 triples per game in Season 76, including making 3 or more in half of UP’s games. He could be the second coming of Sunday Salvacion or, if his team is lucky, Gary David.

3. Mark Lopez (University of the Philippines)
I have been high on Lopez ever since I first saw him play for FEU-FERN in the UAAP’s Juniors ranks. Lopez is one of the most physically imposing 6-footers you will see, and he has a great skill-set. He has the height to match-up with most pro SGs, the speed to harass opposing PGs, and has good enough handles to bring down the basketball. I imagine he shouldn’t have too much trouble running after, or fighting through screens to cover, the other team’s shooters. He can also drive to the hole and is a decent shot from distance. IMHO, the thing that has really held him back is playing for UP. Methinks that had he played for a more stable college basketball program, he almost certainly would have blossomed into a bona fide star. That’s not to say the door has closed on him, of course. Lopez can excel in the PBA if he finds a team that sees his potential and is willing to put in the work to make him reach it. Lopez’s motor actually reminds me of Calvin Abueva’s, and if Lopez can round out the rough edges in his game, then he can become an Energizer Bunny-type of player (think a poor man’s Abueva) in the pros.

2. Jett Vidal (University of Perpetual Help)
Jettsanity. That is what you will get if you draft Jetterson Vidal (yes, his registered name is Jetterson – JETTERSON!). The current super sniper for the Zambales M-Builders in the D-League is one of the deadliest shooters in this draft class, as evidenced by his recent 4-triple-outburst in the fourth quarter as the Builders pulled the rug from under UP-Derulo Accelero (#whattaname), 79-73. That is exactly the kind of game Vidal brings to the PBA. This kid is a super streaky shooter who is never shy (not at all!) when it comes to launching those long toms. In his last two NCAA campaigns, Vidal normed around 15 points per game, making about 2.5 treys per outing (just don’t ask how many attempts he averaged). As deadly as guys like Paul Sanga and Sam Marata are from long range, I advise any team looking for a super shooter to have no second thoughts about Vidal. He is such an underrated guy (he also normed 1.2 steals in the NCAA), but he has the tools to be a very effective situational shooter in the PBA.

1. Jeric Teng (University of Santo Tomas)
Teng is coming off a heartbreaking loss in the Season 76 UAAP Finals, but that should serve as added fuel for him to do well in the pros. Out of all the guys on this list, Teng is maybe the one with the most polished all-around game. He can stroke from rainbow country, he can post up smaller defenders, he can drive past bigger wingmen, he can bring down the ball, and he’s a pretty good passer to boot. The only chink in Teng’s armor is that he usually looks to shoot more than to create plays for his teammates. He cannot do that in the PBA, not when he can potentially be teammates with guys like Sol Mercado, Cyrus Baguio, or Jeff Chan. I believe Teng’s pedigree, experience, and innate talent will all guarantee that he will be picked middle to late first round, but he will have to morph into either a shooting-guard-playmaker hybrid (think Chris Tiu), or a really (and I mean REALLY) sharp wing scorer (think Gary David) to maximize his time in the pros. I’m willing to wager he’ll be successful either way.

Other SGs we have to watch out for are Ping Exciminiano, Nate Matute, and the enigmatic Ryan Buenafe. Exciminiano is a bundle of energy who can be a great backcourt defender, while Matute, like Vidal and Marata, is a potential heavy bomber (he actually is, since he came from JRU). Buenafe seems to be the most intriguing case, however, since he’s too short to be a forward in the PBA and a little too slow to be a guard. He doesn’t have the most consistent perimeter game as well. He is a proven winner, though, who has great court awareness. He never gets rattled and is just one of the savviest players in local hoops. Of these three, I am willing to wager Matute and Buenafe have the best chances of getting drafted.


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5 Comment
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Oh cmon?! No love for Alex Nuyles?! This is crap!

Balas
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Of course we love Nuyles. We just think he's more of a 3 than a 2, which is why he is in the Top 5 SFs post. BTW, thank you for sounding respectful and civilized.

Balas
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sam marata, mark lopez over Lastimosa?? s

Balas
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calling it the way we see it :) #AgreeToDisagree

Balas
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Nice post! Hope these 5 get drafted on Nov. 3 :)

Balas