MUNZON, MALONZO, OFTANA LANDS TOP 3 PICKS FOR 2021 PBA ROOKIE DRAFT
65 aspirants have been successfully drafted in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) over eight rounds during the virtual Rookie Draft ceremonies on Monday.
12 teams took turns in choosing among the 86 eligible applicants that will help boost their campaign to aim for the championships in the upcoming PBA season.
Ahead of the regular draft, Jordan Heading, William Navarro, Tzaddy Rangel, and Jaydee Tungcab were picked by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas in a special round for them to become full-time Gilas Pilipinas players.
Heading (Terrafirma), Navarro (NorthPort), Rangel (NLEX), and Tungcab (TNT) will be playing for the national team until such time the SBP releases them to their mother clubs in the PBA.
Terrafirma Dyip opened the regular draft by selecting the country’s top 3×3 basketball player Fil-Am Joshua Munzon.
The 26-year old was expected to be the number one pick as he was already making a name on both the local and international basketball scene in the ASEAN Basketball League and in the PBA D-League.
As the draft selection continued, the scene unfolded expectedly for some as Jamie Malonzo landed on NorthPort Batang Pier at second pick.
Standing at 6-foot-6, the Batang Pier will benefit from the De La Salle University product which also to be expected being skilled in the wing.
Former San Beda star Calvin Oftana signed up with NLEX Road Warriors as the third overall pick.
The reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player is among the high-profile stars expected to land on the first-round selection and will be offering his versatility on the court being able to play multiple positions backed with his experience in his stint with the national team.
Mikey Williams and Santi Santillan were drafted at No. 4 and 5 by TNT and Rain or Shine, respectively.
Alaska Aces selected former Perpetual Altas Ben Adamos on sixth, followed by Larry Muyang on seventh by Phoenix Super LPG, and James Laput on number eight by Terrafirma.
Alvin Pasaol was drafted by Meralco Bolts on No. 9, Jerick Ahanmisi at No. 10 by Magnolia Hotshots, and Troy Rike No. 11 by NorthPort.
A surprise came with Barangay Ginebra wrapping up the first round selecting former Far Eastern University player Ken Holmqvist.
The 2021 Rookie Draft made history as it made a total of 65 drafted players surpassing the record of 54 in 2015.