Kiefer Ravena is being given the maximum rookie deal of P8.5 million in three years by the NLEX Road Warriors, becoming the only player so far in this year’s draft to receive the honor. Ravena is expected to sign the deal on Thursday, according to reports.
San Miguel Beer earlier announced that it has signed up top overall pick Christian Standhardinger to a similar maximum contract for a rookie. However, the exact figure was not revealed, with reports only mentioning a three-year deal with SMB “worth a little over P8 million.”
The prized Fil-German 6’8” rookie though will not see action for the Beermen until June next year, or in the early part of the Commissioner’s Cup, because he first has to fulfill an earlier contract with the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the Asean Basketball League, which begins on Nov. 17.
Standhardinger will reportedly receive a monthly salary of P150,000 on his first year in the league. Other details of his contract remain unknown as of Thursday.
Ravena, the second overall pick, will receive the same amount under his contract with NLEX on his first year. He will then receive a P225,000 monthly pay on his second year and P350,000 on his third year.
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said the maximum rookie deal given to Ravena reflects the value of the two-time UAAP MVP out from Ateneo, who he describes as a smart player with a high basketball IQ.
“He’s an immediate impact player. He’s an intelligent player who will fit right into our system. He’s a winner, and a go-to guy,” Guiao said of Ravena after NLEX made him the No. 2 pick in the PBA Rookie Draft on Oct. 29.
Ravena averaged over 20 points for Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas, which placed fifth in the recent FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Chenzhou, China. Ravena also played a key role in Gilas’ defense of the country’s men’s basketball crown in last August’s Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, thus becoming the first Filipino basketball player to win four gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games.
Meanwhile, No. 3 pick Raymar Jose, another collegiate star and Gilas stalwart, was not as fortunate as Ravena and Standhardinger. The 24-year-old 6’5” bruiser from Far Eastern University was only offered a one-year max deal contract by Blackwater Elite, the team that drafted him.
Blackwater team manager Johnson Martinez reportedly gave Jose a tender offer of P120,000 a month for the first year and P180,000 for the second.
“I would like to see first what he can give us,” Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy said of Jose.
Sy also disclosed that Blackwater is extending the contract of veteran gunner Allein Maliksi, who is guaranteed a maximum basic pay of P10.08 million for the next two years.
Maliksi, who was traded by Star to Blackwater last season, is among the players trying out for the Gilas squad that will play Japan and Chinese Taipei later this month in the opening games of the 2019 FIBA Asia World Cup qualifiers.
Former La Salle teammates Jason Perkins and Jeron Teng, the fourth and fifth picks, respectively, will reportedly also receive paychecks lower than what Ravena and Standhardinger will be getting.
Perkins will get “a little less” than the P150,000 a month first-year maximum salary with the Phoenix Fuel Masters, according to team representative lawyer Raymund Zorilla. “But he will be very happy, I am sure,” he added.
On the part of Teng, who was picked by Alaska, team manager Dickie Bachmann said he will propose a package that will be “very close to the maximum.”
Standhardinger, Ravena, Jose, Perkins and Teng were the Top Five picks in the 2017 PBA Draft where 43 of the 44 hopefuls were drafted.
Teams have until Thursday to present a tender offer to their draftees. Otherwise, they will lose signing rights on the players.