As expected, Columbian Dyip tapped Isaac Go in the Philippine Basketball Association Rookie Draft yesterday at the Robinsons Place in Ermita, Manila.
Go, the sweet-shooting former Ateneo de Manila University big man, was taken with the top overall pick in the special Gilas Pilipinas draft by a Columbian Dyip squad that is looking for a stretch big man who can provide a lot of room for CJ Perez to operate.
Go was part of the Blue Eagles’ 16-0 romp in the recent University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament and although he only averaged only 3.7 points and 3.2 rebounds, he provided tons of leadership and veteran stability, which a young Dyip squad badly needs.
Columbian Dyip head coach Johnedel Cardel said he finally found their center of the future in the 6-foot-8 stretch slotman.
“We really need a stretch five who is a very smart player,” Cardel said.
“I think he’s perfect for us. He can shoot from the outside and has a high IQ that we can use as we prepare to contend with the heavyweights of the league. Aside from that, he can also become the leader of this team.”
Cardel said he won’t be surprised if Go turned into a star, similar to what happened to Perez, who was also taken with the top overall pick before blossoming into a crucial piece of the Gilas squad that saw action in the FIBA Basketball World Cup last October.
“I think so. But, of course, it will depend on how hard he will work once he’s already in the league.”
Go said he was elated with his selection, but quite nervous because of the mounting pressure on his shoulders.
“When you hear the words that ‘you’re going to change a franchise, you feel a little pressure. But I’m really excited about the opportunity and the challenges it will present,” said Go, who is also known as a clutch shooter who bailed Ateneo out of trouble in the past.
Meanwhile, Blackwater tapped former University of the East hotshot Rey Suerte with the second pick.
Suerte, who emerged as Most Valuable Player in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc., is tipped to be groomed for leadership role following the departure of Ray Parks to TNT KaTropa.
He will join an Elite team that is ushering in a new era under new coach Nash Racela.
Then, NLEX tapped another former Blue Eagle in Matt Nieto with the third pick while Alaska clinched hot-shooting Allyn Bulanadi with the fourth and Rain or Shine selected Mike Nieto with the fifth to wrap up the Gilas draft.
Matt will be a perfect fit to NLEX as he joins the talented backcourt of Jericho Cruz, Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas while Bulanadi could provide the firepower following the departure of Chris Banchero to Magnolia.
Of course, Mike has always been known as a sweet-shooting banger and his arrival at Rain or Shine will allow him to be mentored by seasoned bruiser Beau Belga.
Meanwhile, the Dyip tapped Roosevelt Adams with the top pick in the regular draft while Maurice Shaw went to Blackwater, Mike Ayonayon to NLEX, Barkley Eboña to Alaska, Adrian Wong to Rain or Shine, Clint Doliguez to Rain or Shine, Prince Rivero to Rain or Shine, Sean Manganti to NorthPort, Aris Dionisio to Ginebra, Kib Montalbo to TNT KaTropa, Christian Balagasay to Columbian to wrap up the first round.