MANILA, Philippines – Towering big man Junmar Fajardo from the University of Cebu is the likely top pick in the upcoming PBA Annual Rookie Draft, with San Sebastian’s Calvin Abueva and D-League star Cliff Hodge also among the top candidates.
According to PBA.ph, Fajardo formally submitted his papers at the PBA Office last Monday and will likely be picked first by the Petron Blaze Boosters when the Draft gets underway on August 19.
A total of 61 players have entered the draft, but the number could rise until August 3, the deadline for submission of documents.
Air21 owns the top overall pick this year though they traded their rights to Petron. The Boosters have made no secret that they will like to add Fajardo to their already star-studded roster, as the 6-foot-9 big man also played for the San Miguel Beermen in the ASEAN Basketball League.
Aside from Fajardo, Abueva and Hodge are likely to hear their names called early, with former NCAA and D-League MVP Vic Manuel also a potential early draft pick.
San Sebastian’s high-flying Ronald Pascual, San Beda’s Dave Marcelo, Ateneo’s Emman Monfort, FEU’s JR Cawaling and Adamson players Lester Alvarez, Janus Lozada, Jerick Canada and Jan Colina are also among the draft applicants.
Foreign-bred players like Hodge, Chris Ellis, Jason Deutchman, Charles Keith Jensen and Allex Mallari have also entered the draft.
The draft entrants will undergo biometrics procedure on August 15. The final list of candidates will be released on August 16.