University of the Philippines for grabs

December 10, 2018
Ray Parks Jr.

Parks, Perez head 48-player PBA Rookie Draft pool.

THE cast has been set as a total of 48 hopefuls made themselves available for the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.

University of the Philippines’ Paul Desiderio and Diego Dario were the last ones to submit their names over the weekend as this year’s applicants surpassed last season’s list of 44.

The league’s decision to extend the deadline for local players to submit their applications from Dec.3 to 10 allowed both Desiderio and Dario to make the list at the last minute after playing for the Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball finals against eventual champion Ateneo Blue Eagles.

Official list of applicants, however, won’t be released by the league until Dec. 14 or two days before the draft proceedings to be held at the Robinson’s Place Manila, which formally sets in motion the PBA’s 44th season.

All rookie hopefuls will also undergo the traditional Draft Combine scheduled Dec. 12 to 13 at the Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.

The trio of CJ Perez, Bobby Ray Parks, and Robert Bolick lead the Class of 2018, with Columbian Dyip owning the right to the year’s no. 1 overall pick.

Trevis Jackson, Matt Salem, Bong Quinto, Robbie Manalang, Abu Tratter, John Paul Calvo, Michael Calisaan, Teytey Teodoro, Javee Mocon, and Carlos Isit were among the early players who submitted their applications.

Incidentally, three players with the same surname are included in the draft, namely, Kyles Lao of University of the Philippines, Kent Jefferson Lao of University of Santo Tomas, and Edrian Lao of University of the Visayas.

Last year, Fil-German Christian Standhardinger was selected by San Miguel as the top rookie pick.