Sep 16, 2023

Sunday Draft Day expected to be filled with excitement, drama

FINALLY, the PBA celebrates Draft Day with Terrafirma and Blackwater to exercise draft rights for No. 1 and No. 2 who could well be Fil-Am aspirants Stephen Holt and Deschon Winston.

It's an exciting Sunday event at the Market! Market! in Taguig with a proceeding that presents the PBA ball clubs opportunity to change the course of their future from a rich draft harvest starting at 4:30 p.m..

The consensus is that Holt and Winston will go No. 1 and No. 2, but there are a lot of other guys ready to make the big jump and make immediate impact in the country's premier cage league.

They say the 124-man pool features potential franchise players and pieces to fill needs of a team from bigs to wings and to facilitators.

The pool also offers projects and possibly sleepers, adding excitement to PBA Season 48 Draft.

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At No. 3 and No. 4, Rain or Shine is looking at frontline guys.

And coach Yeng Guiao may turn to Luis Villegas of Stanislaus State/ UE and either Keith Datu of Chico State or Zavier Lucero of California State U Maritime Academy/UP.

At No. 5, NorthPort is likely to pick anyone left available by Rain or Shine.

But there are a lot of others who can't be ignored.

"Ang ganda ng draft natin ngayon. Tingin ko hanggang third and fourth round, maganda pa ang quality," said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

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After Terrafirma, Blackwater, ROS, ROS and NorthPort, the rest of the teams picking in the first round are Phoenix Super LPG at No. 6 followed by NLEX, Meralco, Converge, Converge, NorthPort and Terrafirma Dyip.

Without first-round draft rights are San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra, Magnolia and TNT.

Other top draft prospects include Ricci Rivero of La Salle/UP, Ken Tuffin of FEU, Louie Sangalang and Fran Yu of Letran, Brandon Bates of La Salle, Sherwin Concepcion and Brent Paraiso of UST, Christian David of Butler U, Cliff Jopia of San Beda and Henry Galinato of UP.

Four players were struck out from the initial roster of draft applicants. Justin Caganda of Marikina Polytechnic and Dickson Ty of La Salle failed to show up on the second day of the draft combine, Ivan Sanchez of Arellano never appeared at all while Tsutomu Tateishi of UST/Benilde withdrew his application.

Twenty-nine Fil-foreign players born in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Hong Kong, Thailand and Qatar are part of the draft. (SB)