Hoping for Barefield




The Manila Times



FILIPINO American rookie aspirant Sedrick Barefield is racing against time to submit his Philippine passport to the PBA office. The passport is the only important document needed by Filipinoforeign player to be eligible for the PBA Rookie Draft. The former G-League player was given until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 13, to submit the documents and requirements to the PBA Commissioner’s Office. Picking first in the draft is Blackwater and the Bossing are very much interested in Barefield. Now, the team is putting up a backup plan in case he could not make the final list. Even up to the final hours leading to the deadline, team owner Dioceldo Sy was hoping Barefield will be given the green light by the PBA as the Bossing are looking to pin their hopes on the 25-yearold, 6-foot-2 guard who played for the Oklahoma City Blue, the farm team of the NBA’s Thunder in the G League. “He plays like an import,” Sy told The Manila Times. “We’re planning to fly him and her mom over. He will get his passport here.” Sy said Barefield already has a receipt that he’ll be issued a Philippine passport, which will be released on May 25 and since he was already included in the list of applicants, all he needs to do is to complete the requirements. “I’m OK with the ‘no Philippine passport, no play’ rule and the Commissioner (Willie Marcial) knows it,” Sy added. Commissioner Marcial said a receipt for a Philippine passport is not good enough to clear Barefield. “The deadline is until Friday, (May 13), 5 p.m. He needs to submit the Philippine passport or at least a Certificate from the Department of Foreign Affairs that he’ll be issued a Philippine passport. We’re doing this to ensure that an applicant has no pending cases,” Marcial added. As of 3 p.m. on Friday, Barefield has not submitted the needed document to the PBA. Blackwater coach Ariel Vanguardia, however, is ready for any eventuality. “If ever he won’t be available, then we’ll get the next best available talent,” Vanguardia said. The next best talent Vanguardia was referring to is Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, younger brother of PBA veteran Matt Ganuelas-Rosser of TNT. The younger Ganuelas-Rosser is playing for the Philippine 3x3 team in the 31st Southeast Asian Games where the squad is defending the title. He and the rest of the Limitless Appmasters earned the right to represent the country after their team became the inaugural staging grand champion of the PBA’s standalone tournament. Without their other prospect Justin Baltazar, who decided to withdraw his application to pursue his aspirations of playing in the Japan B.League, the Bossing will turn their attention on Ganuelas-Rosser, a 6-foot-7 agile big man and an efficient rim protector. By playing consistently in the 3x3, Ganuelas-Rosser worked his way back in tip-top form and he’ll be ready once the league’s new season resumes on June 5. As early as last year, he’s been knocking on the PBA door, but wasn’t allowed to join the draft after failing to submit the documents previously required by the league for Fil-foreign players. This time, there’s no stopping Ganuelas-Rosser from playing in the PBA. Blackwater is making sure it will have its back up plan ready just in case Barefield won’t be allowed to join this year’s draft. Aside from selecting No.1 this year, the team will also have late picks in the first round and the team can regroup and start improving its squad which just won once in the last 22 games. Vanguardia was responsible for that sole win when he took over the squad only in the second conference. Now, he has a chance to develop the team for a full season and he believes the Bossing are ready for a much-improved campaign. But whether it’s Barefield providing the firepower or GanuelasRosser shoring up the front court of the Bossing, there’s no other way to go but up for the Ever Bilena-owned franchise.