TERRAFIRMA is expected to make either Fil-Am standout Joshua Munzon or Alvin Pasaol as the No. 1 pick in the coming PBA Virtual Rookie Draft on March 14.
Handled by player-turned-coach Johnedel Cardel, the Columbian Autocar Corp. is also reportedly looking at another Fil-Am standout, Troy Rike, in the annual draft to be held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This will be the third straight year that Terrafirma will make the No.1 pick in the PBA draft after CJ Perez in 2018 and Roosevelt Adams in 2019.
Based on the order of draft for the 46th PBA season tentatively scheduled April 9, NorthPort Batang Pier and NLEX Road Warriors will pick No.2 and No. 3 respectively.
Blackwater was supposed to make the No. 3 pick, but traded its draft right to NLEX .
NLEX will again pick No. 4 based on the natural order of draft, followed by Rain or Shine, No. 5; Magnolia Pambansang Manok, No.6; Alaska Milk, No. 7; San Miguel Beer, No. 8; Meralco, No. 9; and Phoenix Super LPG, No. 10; NorthPort will again pick at No. 11 based on a past deal with Talk N Text.
Newly-crowned PBA Philippine Cup champion Barangay Ginebra will complete the first round selection at No.12.
The second round starts with NorthPort again picking based on previous transactions with Terrafirma and NLEX.
Blackwater will pick the next two drafts, followed by Phoenix (from NLEX), Rain or Shine, Magnolia, Alaska, NLEX (from San Miguel Beer via NorthPort), Alaska (from Meralco via Phoenix), Rain or Shine (from Phoenix), Rain or Shine (from Talk N Text) and Ginebra.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial earlier described the coming virtual rookie draft as “one of the deepest and most talented drafts in recent years.”
Marcial compared it to the star-studded 1989 PBA Draft, led by Benjie “Tower of Power” Paras, Nelson “The Bull” Asaytono and Paul “Mr. Excitement” Alvarez.
As of Saturday afternoon, the PBA Commissioner’s Office said the number of draft applicants has already ballooned to 40.
The PBA did not release the complete list of eligible draft applicants pending the screening of the requirements submitted.
Aside from Munzon, Pasaol and Rike, the other notable playes expected to join the coming virtual rookie draft are Jason Brickman, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Jeremiah Gray, Santi Santillan , Andre Caracut, Jun Bonzubre, Tzady Range, Seraj Elmejrab, John Jeryl Espanola and Terrence Tumalip.
The 6-4 Munzon rose to prominence when he played for the Saigon Heat and the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
Munzon also made his presence felt as a mainstay of AMA University Titans in the PBA D-League, where he averaged 35 points, 10 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game in the 2019 Aspirants’ Cup.
PBA D-League officials also noted that thet 25-year-old Munzon was also the only player to have multiple 40-point games.
He was also a vital cog as a member of the Philippine team in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour along with Pasaol.
Marcial said he expects to see more young and talented players in the coming rookie draft.
“Hindi pa kumpleto. Kung tama ang iniisip ko, madami pa ang darating from UAAP, NCAA and even MPBL. Kadalasan kasi yun mga players natin last day or last two days na ng deadline bago mag-apply,” explained Marcial during his recent appearance in the 2021 Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) “Usapang Sport on Air via Zoom teleconference.