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Burger King sticks to plan, picks Aguilar No. 1

August 2, 2009 7:05pm

Tags: Yeng Guiao
No brainer.

Burger King hardly surprised everybody when it made Japeth Aguilar as the No. 1 pick in the 2009-10 PBA Annual Draft Sunday at the Market Market Place in Taguig.

By ending up as the year’s top rookie selection, Aguilar became the first home-grown player in four years and the second Atenean ever to be picked No. 1 in the Draft.

Japeth Aguilar, left, while playing for Team Pilipinas in the recent Jones Cup also under Burger King coach Yeng Guiao.
The 6-foot-10 son of former national team player and one-time PBA cager Peter Aguilar vowed not to disappoint.

“I’ll do my best to live up to expectations," said the soft-spoken former Western Kentucky University student.

Likewise, his acquisition somehow lessened the impact of the loss of Arwind Santos, who was traded to San Miguel Beer last week.

“Admittedly, Japeth is a player that is raw," declared Whoppers coach Yeng Guiao, who is expected to leave his coaching job before the Fiesta Conference begins since he would be seeking the gubernatorial post of Pampanga.

“This might be my last chance to win an All-Filipino," said Guiao, owner of three championships, all with imports. “We stuck with our plan, we picked Japeth, and now we want to win the All-Filipino."

The new season of Asia’s first play-for-pay league kicks off on Oct. 14.

Whoppers' trade with Coca-Cola

It was one busy day for Burger King as it also acquired Ronjay Buenafe from Coca-Cola after the Whoppers released Chris Ross, their third pick, guard Marvin Cruz and their first pick in the second round, which was at 13th.

The Whoppers likewise let go of Larry Rodriguez to Coca-Cola, which also made news by releasing Nic Belasco to Talk ‘N Text. The player the Tropang Texters would give in return has not been named yet, as coach Chot Reyes has yet to pick from among his players.

Lito Alvarez, the incoming chairman of the PBA and team manager of Burger King, however, had not named the player the Tigers would get in return for Rodriguez.

Rico Maierhofer was picked No. 2 by Purefoods before Burger King chose Ross. Rain or Shine acquired former UAAP standout Jervy Cruz before Alaska made a surprise move by choosing Michael Burtscher, a Fil-Swiss who played in the PBL and who was second to Aguilar in the vertical leap during the rookie camp.

Burtscher, too, was the fastest among the big men in the full-court sprint during the camp.

Barako Bull then acquired NCAA Finals MVP Ogie Menor before Christopher Timberlake got picked by Ginebra. Burger King, who had three picks in the first round, then acquired Ronnie Matias before San Miguel Beer chose James Sena of Jose Rizal.

The rest of the Draft went as follows: Mark Benitez, Benedict Fernandez, and Edwin Asoro all going to Barako Bull from No. 10 to 12; Francis Allera to Coca-Cola; Marcy Arellano to Rain or Shine; Sean Co to Alaska; Charles Waters to Sta. Lucia; Orlando Daroya to Ginebra; Kevin White, a nephew of Jimmy Alapag to Talk N Text; and John Walsham to San Miguel. - GMANews.TV
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Tags: Yeng Guiao