MANILA, Philippines - Former NLEX point guard Cody Tesoro has sorted out his documents as a legitimate Filipino-American, and he is back in the country to pursue his dream to be a PBA player.
The former Western Oregon U and Linfield College player has been cleared for the PBA Rookie Draft set Aug. 24 at Robinson’s Place Manila.
“All Fil-foreign applicants have submitted the needed documents, but they still need to attend the rookie camp to make the final list of hopefuls for the 2014 Rookie Draft,” said PBA operations chief Rickie Santos.
The record list of 95 draft aspirants, to be divided into two batches, will go through biometrics, skills tests and scrimmages in the Gatorade PBA Draft Combine at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong from 8 a.m. to 12 noon today and tomorrow.
Fifteen Fil-foreign players are in the list, and Tesoro is up there among the top guards.
He’s previously shown his playing skills in the country in his stint with the NLEX team in the inaugural PBA D-League tourney in 2011.
“He’s working out with Gilas Pilipinas then when he was recommended to us by (then Gilas assistant coach) Allan Gregorio as a stable guard,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.
“He failed to finish the tourney when they were required to submit the DOJ and BI documents. But I think he has since worked on those papers so he’s back,” Fernandez also said.
Fernandez said Tesoro is a natural playmaker who looks to pass first and has the quality of a leader.
“He can set up, he loves to execute and can bring the ball down though being pressured,” said Fernandez.
“He has a good touch from the outside,” said NLEX assistant coach Raymond Celis of Tesoro who had single-game highs of 36 points and eight three-pointers as a Linfield Wildcat.
The other Fil-foreign draft candidates are Stanley Pringle, Philip Morrison, Jeremy Bartolo, Jonathan Semira, Richard Cole, Anthony Gavieres, Giorgio Umali, Franklin Bonifacio, Kyle Pascual, Andrew Avillanoza, Chris Banchero, Rome de la Rosa, David Semerad and Anthony Semerad.
Pringle and Banchero are first-round prospects together with NLEX stars Kevin Alas, Matt Ganuelas, Ronald Pascual and Jake Pascual.
Other top homegrown talents are cousins Gab Banal and Jonathan Banal of Mapua, another cousin Frank Golla of Ateneo, Prince Caperal of Arellano, Mark Romero of St. Benilde, Jess Villahermosa of San Beda and Raul Soyud of UP.