The PBA Draft 2016 is done and the results are up. Blackwater Elite Enforcers have made their pick and Raphael Banal is this year’s Number 1 pick. But do we know about the young guard?
Here are 5 crazy facts about Raphael Banal.
Basketball is in His Blood
Raphael, or Ael, is the son of PBA coach and former FEU head coach, Joel Banal. His brother is former PBA GlobalPort player, Gab Banal, who is now playing in the D-League. Aside from his dad and brother, his uncles and cousins are also in the basketball world as both players and coaches.
He’s a Blue Eagle
Ael is a standout from the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, side by side with Kiefer Ravena. He was part of the 2008-2009 champion squad of the Hail Mary team before being recruited by an US varsity team straight out of high school.
He’s Not Raffy
After making it known that he will be joining the PBA Draft 2016, news articles about the standout guard have flooded online. However, it seems several have gotten his name wrong. To clarify, Raphael posted a Tweet revealing what his close friends and family call him — and it’s not Raffy.
To whom it may concern: My name was never Raffy.
3.) Ael (Ah-el)
Thank you. 😂😬😬
— Aël (@raphaelbanal) October 27, 2016
He’s the First Filipino to…
According to ABS CBN, Banal is the first Filipino player to play for a US varsity team straight from high school in Manila. He first played for Victory University Comets in Memphis, Tennessee, helping the team in their campaign in the National Christian Colleges Athletic Association. He then played for Hope International University in California.
He’s a Selena Gomez Fan
It seems the new PBA star is a big fan of Selena Gomez. The 6’2 athlete tweeted his Twitter followers asking for help to score VIP or Meet and Greet passes to see the “Come & Get It” singer. He even promised to “owe my life to you” if anyone get’s him one.
If someone could get me a VIP to Selena Gomez (and possibly meet & greet ) I will owe my life to you.
— Aël (@raphaelbanal) July 15, 2016