NLEX to focus on rookie draft, not trade

There’s a reason why the NLEX Road Warriors have decided to keep their core intact.

NLEX to focus on rookie draft, not trade
Kiefer Ravena of the NLEX Road Warriors

That’s because they want to continue building up a young team by adding two more key pieces from the PBA Rookie Draft, where they have the luxury of picking twice in the first round.

The Road Warriors will be  picking Nos. 3 and 4, and with a bumper crop of talented players from among the 97 applicants, the team can select two future stars that could become key members of their future.

General manager and head coach Yeng Guiao said they have no plans of making a trade at this time.

“Ayaw namin i-entertain muna,” said Guiao when asked about trade talks with anyone of his players.

Just before their bubble campaign ended, the Road Warriors immediately signed up marquee players Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas to maximum three-year deal extension. The team also retained the services of veterans JR Quinahan and Jericho Cruz, vastly-improved forward Raul Soyud, bruising frontliner Mike Miranda and guard Kenneth Ighalo, and young players Kris Porter, Paul Varilla, Will McAloney, Kyles Lao and Philip Paniamogan.    

Anthony Semerad and Mike Ayonayon are still under contract.  

The Road Warriors are not interested in trading any of their first round picks, according to Guiao.

“Malabo ‘yun, hindi namin bibitawan first-round picks,” said Guiao. “Gusto kong i-preserve yung No. 3 and No. 4 picks namin.”

Guiao will also meet with the coaching staff first regarding their draft plans. A few months ago, Guiao revealed that he wants to bring in a big man and the best talent available as their two first round picks.

“After lumabas ng final list, we’ll make a decision. It’s useless to decide if madami pang uncertainties (with the eligible Fil-foreign players),” added Guiao.

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