Surprise pick Maverick Ahanmisi can make big impact in PBA, says Guiao

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The PBA Draft made a surprise turn when Rain or Shine tabbed Maverick Ahanmisi with the third overall pick

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Moala Tautuaa and Troy Rosario getting picked first and second overall, respectively, in the 2015 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Rookie Draft on Sunday (August 23) didn't come as a surprise.

Read: Tautuaa, Rosario top two picks in 2015 PBA Draft

What did was Rain or Shine Elasto Painters using the third overall pick to tab point guard Maverick Ahanmisi.

Ahanmisi, a 6-foot-2 Fil-Am, was himself shocked when new Commissioner Chito Narvasa called his name after Rosario's at the Robinson's Place in Ermita.

"It was a shock," admitted Ahanmisi, who helped Cafe France capture the D-League Foundation Cup title.

But Ahanmisi was glad nonetheless that the Elasto Painters plucked him early in the draft.

"But I'm glad Rain or Shine picked me," he said. "I know they are a run-and-gun team. I watched Paul Lee all the time and I love his style of play. Thats why I'm glad I'm with his team; I can learn from him and coach Guiao."

Guiao heeds recommendation from assistant coaches

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, whose team initially needed someone to shore up its frontline, explained why the team selected the high-octane guard.

"We were seriously considering Norbert Torres sa No. 3 pero may trade kami e (Jervy Cruz to GlobalPort for Jewel Ponferrada). Once the trade was consumated, lumaki na kami," the fiery mentor told CNN Philippines after the draft proceedings.

"I felt that the urgency to draft Norbert was not that urgent anymore so tinignan namin yung 3. Personally I was for Art (Dela Cruz) or Scottie (Thompson) but my assistant coaches Caloy Garcia at Mike Buendia came to me and highly recommended Maverick."

Related: Ginebra coach Tim Cone on Scottie Thompson: 'He has the chance to be special'

And it's not just his coaching staff who made the recommendation, Guiao added.

"The two sons of boss Raymond (Yu) were also rooting for him. So from my initial preference, I was kinda overruled by my assistant coaches and the sons of boss Raymond," he said in jest.

A multi-titled coach, Guiao admitted after watching Ahanmisi's games in the D-League and in college he was convinced that selecting the Fil-Am would be a perfect choice for the Elasto Painters.

"I've seen some of his games and he was worth a second look so sabi ko subukan natin. We even took a look at his games in college and after a while I was convinced he would make a good No. 3 pick," he said of his prized acquisition, who is "smart, tough, and has a PBA body."

"But we will stand by this decision. I feel that Maverick can make big impact in the PBA in a short time."

PHOTOS: 2015 PBA Rookie Draft