PBA Season 46 mock draft: Latest predictions for first two rounds

D5 Studio

The PBA Season 46 Rookie Draft will be held online on March 14, with a total of 86 applicants making the final cut. Chuck Araneta, Carlo Pamintuan and Yoyo Sarmenta share their latest predictions for the first two rounds in ESPN5's mock draft.

The PBA Season 46 Rookie Draft will be shown live on March 14 on TV5 and One Sports with livestream on ESPN5.com starting at 4:00 p.m.

Last updated on Mar. 12.

First round

1. Joshua Munzon (Guard, 6'4'') - Terrafirma Dyip

While draft positions have jumbled up the rankings below, it's still clear skies here at the top: Munzon is the man for the Dyip. The absence of CJ Perez leaves a gaping hole in the offense, which Munzon should be able to fill. He's accustomed to being the go-to scorer in every league that he's participated in. He's proven to be comfortable with the ball in his hands, and will not be afraid to be the man for Terrafirma. - Chuck Araneta

2. Jamie Malonzo (Guard, 6'6") - NorthPort Batang Pier

The Greg Slaughter-Christian Stanhardinger trade will undeniably change the look and the identity of both NorthPort Batang Pier and Barangay Ginebra. The inclusion of a talented swingman like Jamie Malonzo will help bridge that transition. The former Green Archer has a versatile skill set that coach Pido Jarencio and his staff can explore. He can obviously play with pace out on the open court or move off-ball in a half court setting. Imagine him on a fastbreak with Robert Bolick or working the paint alongside Sean Anthony. Malonzo deserves to be a top pick in the draft and he'll do wonders for Batang Pier. - Yoyo Sarmenta

3. Calvin Oftana (Forward, 6'5") - NLEX Road Warriors (from Blackwater)

Munzon and Malonzo are the clear-cut top two talents of the draft but NLEX won't be that far behind in terms of adding a contributor to their team by signing up Calvin Oftana. The San Beda product is a versatile player and a proven winner. As always, the best thing about landing with the Road Warriors as a rookie is the chance to get minutes in coach Yeng Guiao's equal opportunity system. His time with Kiefer Ravena and Raul Soyud in the Gilas Pilipinas training camp should allow him to hit the ground running in the PBA. - Carlo Pamintuan

4. Mikey Williams (Guard, 6'2") - TNT Tropang Giga (from NLEX)

NLEX could have gone with a big in Larry Muyang or Leonard Santillan or a guard in Mikey Williams if they kept the fourth pick. However, with TNT picking it up via Blackwater, it's clear that they have their sights on Williams with the Ray Parks situation still unresolved. Williams will be pushed into the spotlight quickly with the Tropang Giga as they traded away Simon Enciso who played major minutes for them at the point guard position. He'll bring scoring prowess that should combine well with Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy. - Carlo Pamintuan

5. Leonard Santillan (Forward, 6'4") - Rain or Shine Elasto Painters

Williams would have been the perfect pick for ROS. The Elasto Painters need a guard desperately and Williams could have been that guy. However, the situation will force them to adjust and instead pick the best talent available instead of getting a player in the position they need to fill. Picking another point guard at this point will be quite a reach for ROS as a lot of them will still be available when they pick again in the second round. Santillan is ready for the PBA. He's built well and works very hard. He's perfect for the blue-collar attitude of the Elasto Painters as he joins a deep pool of bigs who can help each other out in matching up with the big name centers in the league. - Carlo Pamintuan

6. Larry Muyang (Forward/Center, 6'6'') - Alaska Aces (from Magnolia via Phoenix Super LPG)

The Aces have made it clear that they are looking to beef up their frontcourt and get the best bit available. That means whoever is available after the Elastopainters pick is the Aces' man. If Rain or Shine goes with Santilian, the Aces should be more than happy with being able to draft Larry Muyang from Letran. Muyang provides toughness and the wide frame Alaska will need to compete against the frontcourt of contenders in the PBA. He should be able to team with Barkley Ebona and from one of the most physical frontlines in the PBA. Pivoting from Vic Manuel to Larry Muyang should be a win for the Aces - Chuck Araneta

7. Alvin Pasaol (Guard/Forward, 6'2") - Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (from Alaska)

Phoenix Super LPG could have a gem in Alvin Pasaol if he falls to their laps here. He will provide the toughness and tenacity that the Fuel Masters traded away in the Calvin Abueva trade, and should also provide an additional scorer that will make Phoenix a headache to defend. A projected lineup with Chris Banchero, Matthew Wright, Pasaol, Jason Perkins and Justin Chua? Good luck defending that. - Chuck Araneta

8. Ben Adamos (Center 6'7") - Terrafirma Dyip (from SMB)

Terrafirma had a busy offseason, to say the least. As the team rebuilds and renews its identity for yet another conference, getting guys who can have a winning attitude and gel with the current roster is a must. Adamos, who came from a powerhouse program like San Beda and then Perpetual Help who was rebuilding under coach Frankie Lim, can be that guy with a positive attitude to a struggling team like Terrafirma. Adamos can also fit into a role as a solid rebounder and defender. Those two things can be his bread and butter which can lead to having a long and successful career in the league. - Yoyo Sarmenta

9. Franky Johnson (Guard, 6'2") - Meralco Bolts

It is at this point of the draft where the absence of players such as Jason Brickman, Jeremiah Gray, Taylor Statham, and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser will be felt by the teams. Meralco could have had one of those four guys landing on this spot but they will have to be extra creative and pick the best talent available. At the risk of having someone who plays like Trevis Jackson, it's still worth picking up Franky Johnson at this spot. He's a gunner, which is a player Meralco needed from time to time in the PBA Bubble when their offense suddenly dried up. - Carlo Pamintuan

10. Troy Rike (Forward/Center, 6'8") - Magnolia Hotshots (from Phoenix)

Drafting Troy Rike would be an excellent way for the Hotshots to wrap up their off-season heading into the PBA's 46th season. Rike's versatility should be appealing to Magnolia because he can space the floor up to the midrange, giving space for Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang to do damage in the paint. You also can't go wrong with adding some frontcourt heft. And with teams like Ginebra making moves and June Mar Fajardo set to return soon for San Miguel, Magnolia has another big body to protect the frontline. - Chuck Araneta

11. Jerrick Ahanmisi (Guard, 6'1") - NorthPort Batang Pier (from TNT)

NorthPort is loaded with quick, smart, and headstrong guards. And with the returning Robert Bolick, Batang Pier looks to have a better showing than last season. However, there's room for a knockdown artist like Jerrick Ahanmisi. Unlike most guards in the draft, Ahanmisi doesn't need the ball in his hands a lot to excel. He's proficient off the ball and can get better on using screens. NorthPort needs a hands-down shooter who can shred defenses just by shooting the rock. He can also be a valuable space-creator for a team that's just acquired Greg Slaughter. - Yoyo Sarmenta

12. Brian Enriquez (Guard, 6'3") - Barangay Ginebra San Miguel

Brian Enriquez could have benefitted by playing a year in the UAAP with the UE Red Warriors but the pandemic cancelled this plan and pushed him straight into the PBA Draft. There has not been a lot of talk about Enriquez but his experience playing in Division 2 in the U.S. NCAA makes him an interesting prospect. Ginebra is a team that's already close to being complete and they don't need to add anything specific at this point so they could gamble on an relative unknown and hope it pays off in the end. - Carlo Pamintuan

Second round

13. Taylor Browne (Guard, 6'3") - Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (from NorthPort Batang Pier via Terrafirma and NLEX)

Ginebra parted with Jerrick Balanza to move up in the draft as they will now make back-to-back selections. The coaching staff is said to be high on Jerrick Ahanmisi but he might not be available by the time they make their selections. Ginebra could get two relative uknowns in the local basketball scene by picking Taylor Browne after Enriquez to start the second round. Browne is a good shooter who could serve as an understudy to Jeff Chan. - Carlo Pamintuan

14. Nick Demusis (Guard/Forward, 6'4") - Blackwater Bossing (from NorthPort via Meralco)

Blackwater can use the services of the high-flying Nick Demusis. The team needs a boost, a recharge, basically just somebody who can jumpstart their campaign. Demusis can be that player. The Fil-Am swingman turned heads with his stellar play in the MPBL and he's the right hybrid player if you want somebody with explosiveness and athleticism. It remains to be seen just how much he can produce on a consistent basis, but you can be sure about his effort and toughness. Since Blackwater won't have a pick in the first draft, the team needs to be smart with the 14th pick. Getting Demusis won't be a risky gamble. - Yoyo Sarmenta

15. Ken Holmqvist (Center, 6'8") - Blackwater Bossing

After getting a versatile player with their earlier pick, it's now time to add some ceiling for the Bossing. Height was something they sorely lacked in the PBA Bubble with Maurice Shaw barely getting to see the floor, which meant that Nino Canaleta had to moonlight as a power forward most of the time. Holmqvist is a former FEU Tamaraw, which should be a plus with coach Nash Racela drafting for Blackwater. He'll immediately be of help to the team as a presence in the shaded area. - Carlo Pamintuan

16. James Laput (Center, 6'10") - Alaska Aces (from NLEX via Phoenix)

The Aces get even bigger with the drafting of James Laput with this pick. Though Muyang is the more proven commodity at this point, Laput's size (he's the tallest among draft applicants at 6'10) should still be coveted by many teams that don't have a franchise-player level pivot. He said that he's eager to test himself against June Mar Fajardo- he might get his chance with Alaska. - Chuck Araneta

17. Aljun Melecio (5'8") - Rain or Shine Elasto Painters

As the Elasto Painters reload on the point guard position, the next best guard available is Aljun Melecio. His fearlessness for taking tough shots and quick pull-ups on the break may seem like a head-scratcher for some, but he might just be the player that coach Chris Gavina wants. Melecio is a gunslinger who's not afraid of anything or anyone. He has speed, shooting, and leadership, but his coup de grace is his mentality. It may be cliché nowadays to label a player with a "right mentality" or a "competitive mindset." But Melecio isn't your typical guard who'll shy away from the moment. Give him the green light and he can shoot the lights out from anywhere. - Yoyo Sarmenta

18. Andre Paras (Forward/Center, 6'4'') - Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (from Magnolia)

Stocking up on players who can fulfill specific roles should be the priority for Phoenix in the second round. They lost Dave Marcelo to the TNT Tropang Giga in the off-season so finding a suitable replacement in Andre Paras is something they can do. Paras won't score a lot of points in his PBA career but he'll gladly do the dirty work for the Fuel Masters. He has a knack for getting loose balls and doesn't mind getting down and dirty if it means getting extra possessions for his team. - Carlo Pamintuan

19. Alec Stockton (Guard, 6'2) - Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (from Alaska)

A perfect marriage of defense and chaos, Coach Topex Robinson should love the relentless and pressing defense of Stockton. Offense will not be a problem, as he should be playing alongside a proven scorer in Vic Manuel off the bench at all times, which means Stockton can focus on destroying the offense of Phoenix's opponents. - Chuck Araneta

20. Andrei Caracut (Guard, 5'8") - NLEX Road Warriors (from SMB via NorthPort)

Though the Road Warriors hardly need a playmaker right now, investing in a young talent like Andrei Caracut can go a long way. A guy like Caracut can be a chameleon in terms of how you want him to be on the floor. He won't put up eye-popping numbers or wow anybody with an array of passes, but he'll be consistent. If you want the ball in the post or if you want to push the pace, or you just want the offense going, he's the guy you want. After learning how to be a pro in the ASEAN Basketball League under Jason Brickman and head coach Jimmy Alapag, he can continue to expand his game with coach Yeng Guiao and Kiefer Ravena. - Yoyo Sarmenta

21. RK Ilagan (Guard, 5'7") - Alaska Aces (from Meralco via Phoenix)

With JVee Casio getting up there in age and wthe Aces releasing Abel Galliguez, Alaska needs another point guard in the roster and RK Ilagan could fit right in. He's a smart playmaker with decent range. He has shown the ability to run a team, which would be perfect under coach Jeffrey Cariaso's system. - Carlo Pamintuan

22. Dave Murrell (Guard/Forward, 6'4")- Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (from Phoenix)

There's a case to be that Murrell didn't have enough opportunities to show what he could do, playing for a stacked UP Fighting Maroons squad for the past two years in the UAAP. But if drafted, he could be given a new lease on life, especially if he is drafted by Rain or Shine. Murrell's offense and athleticism are sorely needed by a Rain or Shine squad that had the lowest points and field goal percentage inside the PBA Bubble. Taking a flyer on Murrell is a low-risk, high-reward opportunity for Rain or Shine. - Chuck Araneta

23. Anton Asistio (Guard, 5'10") - Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (from TNT)

if the Elasto Painters go all-in in their retooling for point guards, a shooter should also be in their sights. Granted that they have a legendary shooting guard in James Yap and a bonafide scorer in Rey Nambatac. Still, it wouldn't hurt to have another perimeter specialist who's young and eager to prove himself. Asistio has an impressive resume under his belt but he still needs to quiet doubters about how he can fit in the PBA. His defense and playmaking are still questionable which are usual hurdles for a 5-foot-10 guard. Nonetheless, if he can be a reliable marksman, he can surely find a home with ROS. - Yoyo Sarmenta

24. Joshua Torralba (Guard/Forward, 6'2") - NorthPort Batang Pier (from Barangay Ginebra)

The Batang Pier should be stacked in the backcourt, particularly with the drafting of Ahanmisi, as well as the impending return of Robert Bolick and Jonathan Grey. But you can never have enough defense and shooting coming from the bench- traits that Torralba should be able to provide for the Batang Pier when given the opportunitywell. - Chuck Araneta