2015 #PBADraft: Top 5 Big Man Prospects

About a week from now, we will have the 2015 PBA Draft, where some of the most talented and most exciting young hoopsters will have a shot at making the big time and cracking the PBA. It’ll be interesting to see who gets picked and at which spot. Which teams will look better with their rookies, and which ones will make us shake our heads? 

In this series of posts, I will look at some of the most interesting prospects for each general basketball position — the big man, the wingman, and the point guard. 

I’ll start off with the top five big man prospects this in this year’s rookie crop.

1) Moala TAUTUAA - 6’7, Chadron State, 26 years old
- He’s big. He’s agile. He’s athletic. He’s hungry. Tautuaa is hands down the consensus favorite to be picked #1 in this year’s draft. Had Ray Parks joined, that would have still been debatable, but right now it all seems moot and academic. Given his physical gifts and his talent (he’s a legitimate double-double threat on anygiven night) for making an impact on any team of which he is a part, Tautuaa will be the favorite to win the 2016 Rookie of the Year plum and is expected to be a superstar in the PBA.

2) Troy ROSARIO - 6’6, National University, 23 years old
- There is no doubt Troy is ready for the big time, as proven by his being called up to the Gilas seniors team. That, however, may also prove to be a concern, since it’s possible he’ll get banged up when the team goes on their international sorties. When he finally debuts in the PBA, though, he should fill in the gaps for any team that needs shoring up in every position (It will possibly be Kia/Mahindra, but should rumors prove to be true, Talk N Text may yet land this potential star). He is not a natural center, but the former Bulldog has enough strength to finish strong around the basket and has good enough range to spread the floor. He can potentially be Marc Pingris and Ranidel de Ocampo all rolled into one. 

3) Norbert TORRES - 6’6, De La Salle University, 25 years old
- The Fil-Canadian is a legit big guy any PBA club can develop into a solid, if unspectacular, contributor. Torres has been quite good in the D-League, and he impressed in the recent SEABA and SEA Games tourneys as well. If he can find consistency with his midrange game and then further develop his footwork, he could be the next coming of Don Allado. He is capable of putting up double-doubles if he is given the right amount of playing time, and, well, his size is a rarity in this batch of rookies. 

4) Arthur DELA CRUZ - 6’4, San Beda College, 23 years old
- The Mendiola product has been tearing up the field in the D-League and NCAA. His talent coupled with his no-nonsense attitude should make him a great first round selection for any team outside the top two picks. I have him going #10 in my latest Mock Draft, but I’m honestly at odds with myself right now because this guy can actually go as high as #3. The former Atenean and Bedan should add versatility and depth up to the frontline of any team, while also giving them a lot of energy and feistiness.

5) Bradwyn GUINTO - 6’6 - San Sebastian College-Recoletos, 23 years old
- The San Sebastian big man has great size and physicality — two things that surely won’t hurt his chances in the PBA. I don’t expect him to see a lot of minutes in his first year, but he should improve his game well enough to eventually play alongside and learn from whoever is with him up front. He’s by no means a 20-10 (or even 10-7) guy at this point, but he has the physical tools to develop into one in the future. Hey if Bryan Faundo could emerge as one of the most productive big men this past season in the PBA, someone like Guinto could possibly do the same, right?

Other big man prospects:
Roberto HAINGA - 6’7, UST, 25
Marion MAGAT - 6’7, NU, 25
Michael MIRANDA - 6’6, San Sebastian, 24
John Ray ALABANZA - 6’5, UE, 27
Yutien ANDRADA - 6’5, DLSU, 24
Junar ARCE - 6’5, PCU, 30
Alfred BATINO - 6’5, CEU, 23
Michole SORELA - 6’5, San Beda, 23
Michael John ABAD - 6’4, Mapua, 26
Michael MABULAC - 6’4, JRU, 23

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