A deep crop of aspiring rookies showed off strong performances during Wednesday’s Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Draft Combine at Gatorade Hoops Center.
A total of 75 aspirants have applied for this year’s draft set on May 15 at the Robinson’s Place in Manila, including top prospects from abroad and some of the best college players in the country today.
Gilas Pilipinas cadet and La Salle star Justine Baltazar and highly-touted Filipino-American Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser lead the cast of hopefuls, but in Wednesday’s workouts, other collegiate standouts like National University’s Shaun Ildefonso shone bright.
Ildefonso, son of two-time league Most Valuable Player (MVP) Danny Ildefonso, topped the agility test with a time of 3.46 seconds, while minor league journeyman Chris Lalata displayed the best standing vertical jump measuring 134 inches, according to reports from the PBA website.
All applicants will be required to undergo biometric and agility tests before coaches, representatives and scouts of the 12 PBA teams.
In the final day on Thursday at 8 a.m., the prospects will be spread out to eight different groups and play in five-on-five drills, with the top two clubs battling in a championship.
Aside from Ganuelas-Rosser and Baltazar, the rookie pool includes Fil-Am star Jeremiah Gray, Ateneo standouts Gian Mamuyac, Tyler Tio and BJ Andrade, Sedrick Barefield, Justin Arana, Kurt Lojera, Joshua Fontanilla, JM Calma, Javi Gomez de Liaño, Encho Serrano, Mark Dyke, Jollo Go, Jayson David, Carlo de Chavez, Tyrus Hill, Jeo Ambohot, Christian Fajarito, and Allen Mina. The May 11 to 12 event will be the first Draft Combine since 2019 after being shelved the last two years due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Arana, the top rebounder of NCAA Season 97 out of Arellano, had the longest arm span measuring 6-foot-8 1/2 inches while John Rey Villanueva registered the best mark in the reaction test by garnering 11/10 on his left hand and 8/10 for his right hand.
Enzo Joson was the fastest in 3/4 court sprint with a clocking of 3.01 seconds.
Other applicants who stood out on Day 1 include Andrey Armenion and Orlan Wamar in agility test.
A total of 58 rookie applicants attended the briefing on the Uniformed Players Contract (UPC).
League legal counsel lawyer Melvin Mendoza spoke about the subject matter shortly after the measurements and biometric testing were done on all players.
Previously, briefing about the UPC was usually discussed during the PBA rookie orientation.
Mendoza explained and detailed how the UPC works amongst the players, their respective mother teams and the league.
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