MANILA, Philippines -- A total of 71 players have applied for the upcoming Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Annual Rookie Draft, with big man Junmar Fajardo looming as the top pick, even as amateur star Chris Tiu finally decided to enter the draft.
Tiu, a longtime amateur star who was the former skipper of the Smart Gilas Pilipinas men's national team, beat the August 3 deadline of application for the draft.
But Petron, who acquired the top over-all pick from Air21, is bent on making the 6-foot-9 Fajardo the number one pick of the draft.
After Petron, the teams making their picks are: Alaska, Petron, Meralco, Barako Bull (acquired from Petron), Ginebra (acquired from Powerade), Rain or Shine, Ginebra, B-Meg, and Talk N Text.
The draft will take place on August 19 at the Midtown Robinson's Place Manila.
According to PBA.ph, Tiu is expected to be a first-round pick. Also touted to be picked early is reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player Calvin Abueva from the San Sebastian College. [http://www.pba.ph/news/entry/1756]
Former national team players Aldrech Ramos, Cliff Hodge, Chris Ellis, and PBA D-League MVP Vic Manuel should also hear their names called early in the draft.
Local players expected to make a splash in the draft include San Beda center Dave Marcelo, Ateneo point guard Emman Monfort, FEU's JR Cawaling, and Adamson players Jan Colina, Lester Alvarez, Janus Lozada and Jerick Canada.
The high-flying Ronald Pascual from San Sebastian is also among the top talents from the locals.
The rookie aspirants will undergo the regular biometrics procedure on August 15 at the Club650 Gym in Libis, Quezon City.