The stage is set for the largest-ever PBA Rookie Draft after 97 players submitted their documents at the PBA Office in Libis, Quezon City before the 5:00 pm deadline on Wednesday, January 27.
The total number of applicants for this year’s draft eclipsed the previous record of 91 set during the 2014 draft proceedings and bannered by Stanley Pringle.
Leading the massive pool of talent are Joshua Munzon and Jamie Malonzo with the two Fil-Americans expected to battle it out for the honor of being the top overall pick in the March 14 draft which will most likely be held online.
Coming in strong are Gilas Pilipinas pool members Calvin Oftana, Jaydee Tungcab and William Navarro although the trio might be tapped in a special draft for the benefit of the national team just like in the previous year.
Among the possible first-rounders are 3×3 stars Alvin Pasaol, Santi Santillan, Troy Rike and Franky Johnson, 2018 NCAA Rookie of the Year Larry Muyang, La Salle’s Aljun Melecio, Sebastian’s RK Ilagan, UP’s Jun Manzo, Perpetual’s Ben Adamos and Adamson top gun Jerrick Ahanmisi.
Of the total, 31 are Fil-foreigners which is also a new record with the previous high being 15 in 2015.
Leading the pack are Alab Pilipinas standouts Jason Brickman, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and Jeremiah Gray and FIBA 3×3 veteran Taylor Statham. They, however, must still submit the Department of Justice (DOJ) affirmation and Bureau of Immigration (BI) certification in order to prove their Filipino citizenship.
The league will release the final list of draft-eligible applicants on March 9 or just 5 days before the draft proper.