A Closer Look at SLR's 3 Draft Picks

On: 19 June 2009

SLR 2008 Draft Picks

It seems not many believed that the Realtors were really serious in rebuilding the team after they picked a couple of relatively unknown rookies from the draft last 31 August 2008 at the Market! Market! Mall in Taguig City. Some were even wondering why the Realtors pass up the opportunity of choosing point-guard TY Tang in the first round or streak shooter Jonathan Fernandez in the second round.

Well, the answer is really simple. The team is already overloaded with guards. They do not have any problems (age-wise or agility-wise) in the backcourt. Sensational 2008 Rookie of the Year (ROY) has already proven that he can control the tempo of the game, while Dennis Miranda has emerged as the primary example of a solid brick-defense at the point. With Joseph Yeo already adjusting to his sixth man role from the bench, there is no need to make anymore adjustments in that area.

It is the frontline of the Realtors that needs some support. It is where they need to take on fresh legs with athletic ability and upper-body strength to boot. This is where the three picks from the draft will have to be molded and fitted to suit the defensive system of the team.

Now, let us take a look again at the rookie picks of the Sta. Lucia Realtors and try to analyze if they can really be a vital party to what coach Boyet Fernandez had in mind.

Kelvin West Gregorio
Height/Weight: 6'4"
Age: 24
Date of Birth: 13 August 1984
Hometown: Teresa, Rizal
Position: Center/Forward
Years Pro: Rookie
College: University of the East
Teams played for: UE Red Warriors, Burger King

UAAP Average


PBL Lipovitan Amino Sports Cup Average


After Kelvin Gregorio arrived in the stables of UE coach Dindo Pumaren, he immediately made a tremendous impact.

"The first time we saw Kelvin, we knew he has the talent and the potential to do better," said Pumaren. "He may be shy, but once the game starts, he becomes very aggressive."

The 6'4" forward from Rizal was instrumental in helping the Red Warriors reached the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) basketball championships where they eventually lost to La Salle.

Despite the loss, Gregorio showed consistency in game and even led his team in the scoring after the first round of the elimination with 11.9 points per game.

"Every year, Kelvin improves something in his game," Pumaren added. "His offense is there, but he continues to work on his dribbling and shooting. He can easily switch from 3 (small forward) to 4 (power forward). He works so hard."

Strengths: A versatile scorer and rebounder who has developed into a more well-rounded player as his career has progressed. Good length and outstanding timing make him an effective rebounder from the small forward position.

Chito Jaime
Height/Weight: 6'4" 192 lbs.
Age: 25
Date of Birth: 21 October 1982
Hometown: Bataan
Position: Forward
Years Pro: Rookie
College: AMA Computer University
Teams played for: AMA Computer University Titans, Toyota Otis, Iloilo Mang Inasal

Liga Pilipinas Average


How good are you that Norman Black, then newly named as head coach of the high-profile Ateneo De Manila varsity program, was all praises for you when you were invited to try out for the Blue Eagles? Yes, Chito Jaime is indeed that good. Jaime has it all: size, strength, speed, athleticism, a high basketball IQ and coachability. The unassuming forward-center is perhaps the best player not on a high-profile varsity program.

Jaime actually spent some time on the B Team of Ateneo, seeing action in the 2005 Fr Martin Cup off season tournament. But things just did not work out between him and Ateneo and he eventually found his way to AMACU where he became close with head coach Boni Garcia, a former pro coach. The rest as they say is history.

Jaime was named Most Valuable Player of NAASCU and led the Titans to the championship in a gruelling series versus archrival Systems Technological Institute. Jaime averaged a near 20-10 throughout the tournament and proved to be a match-up nightmare for opponents unused to facing this much athletic ability in a package of Jaime's size. He can operate from the post and the perimeter with equal aplomb and has great instincts after the ball on defense. His days of being under the radar are now officially over.

The match-up problems brought by Jaime continued in his PBL days with Toyota Otis where he emerged as the team's most prolific scorer.

“He has earned his minutes because he is really working hard in practice,” said Toyota Otis coach Ariel Vanguardia on Jaime, the most exposed player of the Sparks averaging almost 30 minutes on the court.

“Besides I really believe he is ripe in the PBL. He can create match-up problems because he has quickness and outside shooting and can play either the three or four spot,” added Vanguardia.

Strengths: Combines strength and power with elite athleticism and nose for the ball. Has a smooth stroke from long range. Extremely competitive and plays hard.

Christian Cabatu
Height/Weight: 6'6"
Age: 25
Date of Birth: 19 June 1983
Hometown: Quezon City
Position: Center/Forward
Years Pro: Rookie
College: St. Benilde
Teams played for: St. Benilde Blazers, Ilocos Sur Bravehearts

Liga Pilipinas Average


A name that could definitely give you power, but not in his case. His older brother Sonny Cabatu Jr. was clearly the better one in their family but even that could not guarantee a a good playing time from the Alaska bench. With that, nothing much to expect from brother Christian.

It is, thus, not surprising that SLR coach Fernandez considers him as a project player. Something to develop given his height, 6'6", and decent numbers from the 3-PT area, 46 percent or 5-out-of-11, during his stint with the Ilocos Sur Bravehearts in Liga Pilipinas.

"This guy is a potential player who can improve and help us," Fernandez said.

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