FOR the third straight season, the Columbian Autocar Corp. franchise holds the rights to the first pick in the annual PBA Draft.
Terrafirma will be the first to dip its hands in the draft pool in the 2021 draft exercise slated March 14, getting another No. 1 selection after CJ Perez in 2018 and Roosevelt Adams in 2019.
It should have been a fourth straight No. 1 draft pick for Terrafirma if not ceding its rights in 2017 in a trade deal with San Miguel Beer. The Beermen then tabbed Christian Standhardinger as the top choice.
Based solely on the performances of the ball clubs in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup bubble play in Clark, the Season 46 draft will have Terrafirma picking at No. 1, followed by NorthPort and then NLEX by virtue of a past trade deal with Blackwater.
Then NLEX will also be picking at No. 4 based on the natural order, followed by Rain or Shine, Magnolia, Alaska, San Miguel Beer, Meralco, Phoenix Super LPG, NorthPort (from a past deal with TNT) and Barangay Ginebra.
The second round starts with NorthPort exercising rights gained from a previous transaction with Terrafirma and NLEX.
At No. 2 is Blackwater (from NorthPort via Meralco), then the Elite squad again followed by Phoenix (from NLEX), Rain or Shine, Magnolia, Alaska, NLEX (from SMB via NorthPort), Alaska (from Meralco via Phoenix), Rain or Shine (from Phoenix), Rain or Shine (from TNT) and Ginebra.
Meanwhile, the number of draft applicants has ballooned to 33 with the addition of former Lyceum Pirate center/forward Seraj Elmejrab and guards John Jeryl Espa?ola from UP and Terrence Tumalip from St. Vincent.
The official list of eligible draft applicants will be released after the PBA Commissioner's Office has screened all the requirements submitted.
Keenly awaited are the documents of marquee Fil-foreign applicants Jason Brickman, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and Jeremiah Gray.
Alvin Pasaol, Santi Santillan and Troy Rike lead the other top talents who have applied for the coming draft. (SB)