PBA D-League: Fil-Canadian is top draft pick; Pasaol slips to second round

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 12 2017 04:18 PM | Updated as of Dec 12 2017 05:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) AMA Online Education is pinning its hope on a little-known Filipino-Canadian forward when it competes in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup next year.

The Titans selected 25-year-old Owen Graham, a 6-foot-4 wing out of Canada, with the top pick in the 2017 PBA D-League Rookie Draft on Tuesday afternoon at the PBA Café.

"Mabilis siya at all-around player siya. Para siyang si Arwind Santos," AMA coach Mark Herrera said of his new player.

Graham will team up with big man Andre Paras for AMA's campaign in the Aspirants' Cup, which starts on January 18.

AMA was one of only three teams to make selections in the first round of the draft, as the other 10 teams were all affiliated with other schools and thus chose their players ahead of time.

Wangs-Colegio de San Juan de Letran, for instance, selected Jerrick Balanza, while Allan Richard Martin was taken by Batangas-Emilio Aguinaldo College. Centro Escolar University went with Keanu Caballero, and Zark's-Lyceum of the Philippines University took reigning NCAA MVP CJ Perez.

Gamboa-St. Clare College selected Mohammed Pare, Jose Rizal University took Leonard Esguerra, Che'Lu San Sebastian-College picked RK Ilagan, and Go for Gold-De La Salle-College of St. Benilde went with Kendrix Belgica.

Marinerong Pilipino, one of the three teams to make a draft pick, took Kyle Toth, while Mila's Lechon selected Jose Bellosillo.

Shockingly, projected top pick Alvin Pasaol of the University of the East fell all the way to the second round, where he was selected by Marinerong Pilipino.

Another projected top pick, Arvin Tolentino of Far Eastern University, dropped to the seventh round, where he was taken by Che'Lu San Sebastian.

University of Perpetual Help and Akari-Adamson University passed on their picks during the draft proceedings as they are set to field complete varsity lineups for the first conference.

A total of 124 players were selected by the 13 teams through 18 rounds of the draft.

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