PBA: Rookies & their counterparts (Part 2)

With the recently concluded PBA draft, fans are eager to see what the rookies can offer as the league gears up for its forty-fourth season.

One good indicator of a player’s future in the PBA is by comparing them to their respective counterparts who are already in the pro ranks. Here’s the second part of this comparison. You may read the first part here.

Fifth Overall Pick: Trevis Jackson goes to Meralco Bolts

Player Comparison: Alex Mallari

As a big guard who could do a little bit of everything, so much was expected when Alex Mallari was drafted third overall back in 2012. Expectations are also high for the Meralco Bolts’ recent draft pick, Trevis Jackson, as he hopes his game will translate well in the PBA.

Mallari and Jackson have a lot of similarities. Both guys are left handed, can slash to the basket, and can stop on a dime and pull up for a jumper off a pick-and-roll. While Mallari is a little taller and more versatile, Jackson is a little bit more dynamic when it comes to his scoring and ball-handling skills.

With the impending departure of steady floor general Baser Amer, Jackson is set to slide in and take over his role with Meralco. While there are also still a lot of question marks on his game, the Bolts view as their point guard of the future and expect the Sacramento native to immediately make an impact for his new team.

Sixth Overall Pick: Javee Mocon goes to Rain or Shine Elasto Painters

Player Comparison: Mac Belo

Mac Belo thrived in the UAAP as an all-around and efficient forward who also had a knack for hitting clutch shots. He carried that all the way with the Blackwater Elite before a knee injury derailed his progress in the PBA and sidelined him for months. The former FEU Tamaraw has slowly but surely regained his form that made him one of the PBA’s top prospects in 2016.

Javee Mocon also had a successful college career when he played for the San Beda Lions in the NCAA. Like Belo, he was very efficient and hit timely shots during their championship run. Both are almost built the same and can play the three and four spots.

Mocon’s versatility is a welcome addition for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. If he can defend the quicker small forwards and heftier power forwards in the PBA, and if he can consistently drain the three-point shot like Belo does, the former Red Lion can carve out a solid role for the Raymond Yu-owned franchise.

Seventh Overall Pick: Abu Tratter goes to Blackwater Elite (traded by NLEX Road Warriors)

Player Comparison: Nonoy Baclao

Former Ateneo Blue Eagle Nonoy Baclao was the number one overall pick by the Air21 Express back in 2010. While he didn’t blossom into a superstar like others did, he turned out to be a solid role player for the Alaska Aces in the last three years.

Another player from archrival school De La Salle University also has a chance to do the same with another PBA team. Touted as the best big man available in the draft, rookie Abu Tratter can help fill the void left by Poy Erram as the Blackwater Elite are looking for a fresh start after overhauling their roster.

Baclao and Tratter’s games have a lot of similarities as both are good at running the floor, finishing around the basket and getting second opportunities for their teammates. Tratter has a little more upside though with his above average athleticism and the former Green Archer is expected to become a reliable force down low for Blackwater.

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