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PBA holds Rookie Draft with Dyip likely to make Munzon No. 1 pick

Likely top five pick (from left) Joshua Munzon, Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana, Mikjey Williams and Santi Santillan.

By JONAS TERRADO

Terrafirma is all set to welcome Joshua Munzon as its No. 1 overall pick today when the PBA holds this year’s Rookie Draft virtually for the first time.

Barring a last-minute change of draft, the Dyip plans to select Munzon to kickoff the 4 p.m. proceedings which will see teams make selections from a list of 86 applicants.

Munzon is considered as the consensus top selection in this year’s draft after a splendid career in the ASEAN Basketball League, PBA D-League and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3.
The 26-year-old from California should be a fitting replacement to CJ Perez, who Terrafirma decided to part ways with by trading him to San Miguel Beer in late-January.

It will be the third straight year that the Dyip will select first by virtue of having the worst record in the Philippine Cup, the only conference played in the shortened 45th season last year.

NorthPort is poised to get former La Salle standout Jamie Malonzo second overall while ex-San Beda star and NCAA Season 95 Most Valuable Player Calvin Oftana will likely be taken by NLEX at No. 3.

NLEX was supposed to also pick fourth, but elected to trade its rights to TNT in a three-team trade which includes Blackwater. 

Fil-Am guard Mikey Williams, who had stints in the ABL, MPBL and Mighty Sports, could be taken fourth by the Tropang Giga as they look to fill their roster with a caliber talent following the controversial decision of Ray Parks Jr. to skip the upcoming season.

With Fil-Am playmaker Jason Brickman ineligible to incomplete documents, Rain or Shine may opt for a big man at No. 5, most probably Santi Santillan.

Alaska, on the other hand,  hinted at using its sixth overall pick to draft a big man while Phoenix has a great opportunity to bolster its lineup at No. 7 after acquiring Vic Manuel and Chris Banchero in separate trades.

Terrafirma picks again at No. 8 after acquiring the rights from SMB in the Perez deal, followed by Meralco, Magnolia, NorthPort and defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

Ginebra will start first in the second round after swapping picks with NorthPort in a Friday trade involving Jerrick Balanza, Blackwater selects second and third.

Rounding out the second round are Alaska, Rain or Shine, Phoenix (twice), NLEX, Alaska, Rain or Shine (twice) and NorthPort.

A special round will also be held prior to the proceedings for four players who will be part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool.

Terrafirma to be followed by NorthPort, NLEX and TNT will get a chance to select either Will Navarro, Jaydee Tungcab, Jordan Heading and Tzaddy Rangel in the special Gilas round.

What do you think?

Written by Tempo Desk

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