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Tiebreaker Times


Sedrick Barefield, Justine Baltazar top list of 70 hopefuls in PBA Draft

Sedrick Barefield and Justine Baltazar spearhead the 70 players hoping to make it to the PBA through the Season 49 Rookie Draft set for July 14.

The two potential top picks are among the names in the list of aspirants released by the league the morning after the July 4 deadline for application.

Possibly the tallest player in this year’s class, the 6-foot-8 Baltazar was the presumptive selection until Barefield decided to give it another shot.

The G-League vet planned to join the league back in 2022, but the DFA failed to print a copy of his passport due to the COVID-19 situation at that time.

A hard copy of a Philippine passport is a major requirement for Fil-foreign hopefuls.

Barefield and Baltazar were supposed to banner the draft class of that said year, but the former La Salle winger pulled out at the last minute. He signed with the Hiroshima Dragonflies of the B.League, although that stint was short-lived.

Now, the two will be leading the 2024 batch, with Converge facing a good problem as it assesses which one is best to be picked no. 1 overall.

Some of the other notable names in the class are RJ Abarrientos, Dave Ildefonso, Jonnel Policarpio, Evan Nelle, Ef Escandor, CJ Cansino, Jerom Lastimosa, Xyrus Torres, and Mark Nonoy

Nineteen Fil-foreigners are seeking to enter the PBA as well.

Barefield is leading the contingent that also has Caelan Tiongson and former UAAP campaigners Ben Phillips, Kai Ballungay, Jared Brown, Brandon Ramirez, DJ Mitchell, Paul Garcia, CJ Payawal, and Jordan Bartlett, to name a few.

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Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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