NBA Summer Leaguer Stephen Holt goes to Terrafirma—but how long will he stay?

NBA Summer Leaguer Holt goes to Terrafirma—but how long will he stay?

Stephen Holt makes an appearance via a video call from Portland after being selected first overall by Terrafirma in the PBA Rookie

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao still believes that the PBA Rookie Draft is one of the best ways for a franchise to build a winning squad.

But first, Guiao also said that squad must have every intention of becoming better.

“If you’re a team looking to strengthen your team, now is the time,” Guiao said before the conclusion of Sunday’s proceedings that saw 79 out of a record 124 applicants getting their names called before fans and shoppers at Market! Market! in Taguig City.

“The problem is in one or two years, the players who were drafted today may end up going to the stronger teams. It’s as if [teams that drafted them] merely took them in for incubation,” added the outspoken Elasto Painters mentor in Filipino.

Guiao’s statement draws reference from past instances where top picks get shipped out to big teams after a season or two of playing with the squads that picked them.

Two of the prominent No. 1 picks in recent past include CJ Perez, taken by Terrafirma before the 2019 season before being dealt to San Miguel Beer two years later, and last year’s top choice Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, who lasted just one conference with Blackwater before getting traded to NLEX.

Played it coy

Stephen Holt (not present) is the no. 1 overall pick by Terrafirma in the 2023 PBA Draft

Stephen Holt (not present) is the no. 1 overall pick by Terrafirma in the 2023 PBA Draft. –MARLO CUETO/

Terrafirma once again picked first for this year’s proceedings and, as expected, got 31-year-old Filipino-American Stephen Holt, a guard who could provide an immediate impact for his team with skills on both offense and defense.

Terrafirma played it coy about how it would use the No. 1 pick, saying it also had plans of going big. But the 31-year-old Holt, who had stints in the NBA G League and was once part of the Atlanta Hawks’ Summer League roster, was too good to pass up on.

How long Holt will stay with the Dyip once he inks on the dotted line remains to be seen. It is a question that will also hound Blackwater, which also got a Fil-Am talent at No. 2 in the 6-foot-6 Christian David.

“If you’re serious in competing, this is the time for you to pick your talent and develop your talent. If you’re serious,” Guiao said. “If not, you’re just an incubator.”

Guiao was satisfied with the picks Rain or Shine got during the draft that lasted more than three hours.

Painters’ picks

The Elasto Painters used the third and fourth overall picks to take former University of the East cager Luis Villegas and ex-PBA 3×3 big man Keith Datu. Other notables nabbed by the team were Henry Galinato (second round) and Sherwin Concepcion (third round).

NorthPort chose Zavier Lucero at No. 5 despite the former University of the Philippines’ ongoing recovery from an ACL injury, followed by the New Zealand-based erstwhile Far Eastern University standout Ken Tuffin (Phoenix), Richard Rodger (NLEX) and Brandon Bates (Meralco).

La Salle star Schonny Winston, projected as an early first-rounder, was selected ninth by Converge, which also fished former Ateneo guard BJ Andrade at No. 10. NorthPort went with Cade Flores before Terrafirma ended the first round by taking TJ Miller. INQ

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