Due to the circumstances brought about by yet another coronavirus surge, the 2022 PBA Rookie Draft could be moved to another date.
“Baka maisod namin,” Commissioner Willie Marcial said during a guest appearance in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, Tuesday.
The proceedings were generally expected to take place shortly after the Governors’ Cup in March, but the season-ending conference is now in limbo following the league’s decision to pause play days after the New Year.
Initially, the league postponed its games for a week. But it eventually decided to take a break indefinitely, as COVID-19 cases soared to record-highs.
Another halt to the season has likewise affected the league’s many other activities, including, of course, the annual Rookie Draft.
This year’s drafting may not be as deep as last year’s, which was headlined by Joshua Munzon and Gilas Cadets such as Jordan Heading and William Navarro. But, it could possibly feature some highly-touted names.
Jason Brickman, Jeremiah Gray, and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser could all join now thanks to the league’s more relaxed stance on Fil-foreign players.
It could be remembered that the trio applied for last year’s draft, but was declared ineligible for failure to submit the necessary papers on time.
Brickman is presently playing for Kaohsiung in the upstart T1 League in Taiwan. Gray and Ganuelas-Rosser, meanwhile, strutted their stuff in the inaugural PBA 3×3 with TNT Tropang Giga and Limitless App, respectively.
Gray, though, only saw action for a while after suffering an ACL tear during Leg 3, although he’s been on the road to recovery.
Ganuelas-Rosser, on the other hand, helped the Appmasters become the league’s first grand champions.
Many local talents will surely be in the mix as well, with 6-foot-8 Gilas winger Justine Baltazar possibly among them.
The league, however, isn’t looking that far yet. In fact, it hasn’t taken in any applications despite inquiries from managers and players alike.
“Hindi pa rin kami tumatanggap ng mga applications,” Marcial said.
“Pero may nagsasabi na sa akin, mga managers pati yung mga players sa collegiate kung papaano. Sabi ko, one, ‘di pa tayo tumatanggap, at two baka maisod natin.”
So, when will the draft take place? According to the amiable executive, the event could take place some time between April and May. Still, it depends as to when will the league be able to resume games.
“Kasi sa pangyayari ngayon, kung magsisimula tayo last week o first week ng Feb, aabutin tayo ng April–mga second week ng April. So, ia-adjust natin, baka last week ng April o first week ng May ang drafting natin,” he explained.
“Aadjust natin kung papaano,” Marcial added in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR, with Prime Edge as its webcast partner.
“Ibang klase kasi ‘tong panahon na ‘to. So adjust kami lahat.”