SMART CLARK GIGA CITY — The PBA has decided to scrap the PBA D-League prerequisite for those aspiring to throw their names in the 2021 Rookie Draft.
The league usually requires local players to play at least seven games, and 14 for Fil-foreigners. This time, though, the board has decided to do away with it, since the 2020 D-League season has been cancelled due to the pandemic.
“Wala nang requirement sa D-League, ‘yung prerequisite,” said Commissioner Willie Marcial Thursday.
“Tinanggal na ‘yun. so lahat pwede mag-apply.”
The PBA easing its eligibility rules for next year’s proceedings is indeed a welcome development for aspirants. This could mean a potentially deeper pool, with former college stars and Fil-foreigners set to fill it up.
So far, names potentially headlining the draft are Jamie Malonzo from the De La Salle University, and the country’s top 3×3 player in Joshua Munzon.
Munzon, together with Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike, and Leonard Santillan, all declared for the draft following their campaign with Manila Chooks TM in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Doha Masters last week.
Others who will also enter the draft are former Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 MVP Franky Johnson; and big man Larry Muyang, who still has one more year of eligibility with Colegio de San Juan de Letran but opted to forego it.
Marcial said that the league will start accepting applications on Monday, Dec. 7, with the deadline — for both locals and Fil-fors — set on the last week of January. The proceedings, meanwhile, is set tentatively on the second week of March.
The league will try to see if it can hold a Draft Combine. “Titignan namin kung pupwede, o kung papaano,” Marcial said.
Asked regarding the special Gilas draft, a practice that has been held twice in the last four years as part of the PBA’s commitment to the national team, Marcial said that discussions remain ongoing.
“Pag-uusapan pa naming kung paano ang drafting, kung papaaano sa SBP. Pag-uusapan pa kung paano sistema so ‘di pa klaro,” the amiable executive said.
“Magmi-meeting pa ulit kami.”
Owning the top four picks in the draft are Terra Firma, NorthPort, Blackwater, and NLEX, in that order. Despite trading their regular pick to NLEX, Blackwater will still be eligible to pick in the Gilas draft, if one will take place.