MANILA -- Isaac Go thinks that it is very challenging to be the first overall pick of the PBA Draft.
It was exactly what happened to him in the 2019 edition of the draft proceedings as Columbian made him the top pick on Sunday night at the Robinson's Place Manila Atrium.
"Of course, it is challenging because there's always a pressure that people put on you just because you're picked No. 1 overall. I just kinda feel the pressure a little bit," said the six-foot-eight center from Ateneo, who was chosen first out of 72 draft applicants.
As early as now, however, Go is already ecstatic about playing for the Philippines' top tier basketball league.
“I'm more excited than pressured to perform and to show that the No.1 pick was worth it," he further said.
However, he and the rest of Dyip may need to wait for up to three years before they can finally join forces as Go will be designated for the meantime to the Gilas Cadets that are groomed to mainly consist the national team to the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
"It's always an honor to don the blue and white for the Philippines," added Go, who was actually selected first in a special draft that consists of five young ballers that will join the Gilas Cadets pool.
Blackwater took Rey Suerte as the second pick, while Matt Nieto was nabbed by NLEX with the third pick.
Allyn Bulanadi was taken by Alaska with the fourth pick, while Nieto's twin brother Mike was selected fifth overall by Rain Or Shine.
Like Go, the four players will not be joining their mother teams immediately due to their Gilas Cadets duties.
The regular draft then took place with Columbian taking Roosevelt Adams as the first pick of the first regular round, essentially the sixth overall pick.
"I've been part of a lot of winning teams. I think I can bring my winning attitude to this team and hopefully express a lot of energy I can bring to this team," said Adams, who played for Mighty Sports in various international competitions before.
Later in the first round of the regular draft, Blackwater pulled off a huge surprise with its second selection, taking 34-year-old Thai Basketball League veteran Maurice Shaw.
NLEX continued the mock draft busting by taking former San Juan Knight Mike Ayonayon with the third regular pick.
Alaska then selected Barkley Eboña with its regular first rounder, while Rain Or Shine used their three regular first rounders for Adrian Wong, Clint Doliguez, and Prince Rivero.
NorthPort finally barged its way through the draft and selected Sean Manganti with the eighth regular pick.
Magnolia then used its first-round pick for former Manila Star Aris Dionisio, while Ginebra somehow stunned its fans by taking former Batangas City Athletic Arvin Tolentino with its own first rounder.
TNT entered the draft and took former Makati Skyscraper Kib Montalbo, while Columbian ended the first round by taking Christian Balagasay.
In the second round, Meralco made a huge statement when it was finally its turn to select as it drafted no less than Head Coach Norman Black's son Aaron.
In a reunion of sorts, Black, arguably the best import to ever play in the Philippine top flight league, will now be coaching his son, who opted to forego his final year with Ateneo -- and a chance to take a three-peat -- and bolstered his draft stock by playing in the PBA D-League with AMA and in the MPBL with Quezon City and Zamboanga.
A good bunch of MPBL standouts were actually chosen in the second round.
Blackwater used its second rounder on former Iloilo United Royal Richard Escoto, while NLEX selected former Cebu Shark Will McAloney.
Alaska followed suit by taking former Navotas Clutch player Rey Publico, while Rain Or Shine chose former Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguard Vince Tolentino.
Ginebra capped the MPBL invasion of Round 2 by taking Manila Stars signee Kent Salado.
Earlier in the second round, the Barangay did not waste time in taking Jerrick Balanza, who was surprisingly snubbed in the first round.
The Aces, who actually have two second rounders, used their other pick in Lyceum's Jaycee Marcelino.
The Road Warriors likewise also had two Round 2 selections, and they used their second pick on AC Soberano. The Elasto Painters then used its other second round pick on Wendell Comboy.
Magnolia chose Yankee Haruna with its second rounder, while NorthPort ended the second round by drafting Renzo Subido. (PNA)