PBA draft hopefuls down to 87

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    UNLESS the PBA has a change of heart at the Eleventh Hour, at least three top Fil-foreign standouts are likely to be ineligible in the PBA 46th season draft.

    Jason Brickman, Jeremiah Gray, and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser failed to submit their Department of Justice affirmations and Bureau of Immigration certifications as the deadline lapsed at the close of the pro league’s office hours last Friday.

    Taylor Statham, Tyrus Hill, John Paul Gulfo, and Christopher Cancio were also unable to complete the requirements for the March 14 proceedings.

    Three other Fil-foreign players in JJ Española, John Paul Zarco, and Ezra Ocampo, had earlier withdrawn their names from the draft.

    With the 10 Fil-foreigners likely out of the draft, the number of rookie hopefuls went down from 97 to 87.

    Other Fil-foreigners who were cleared for the draft were Jerrick Ahanmisi, Andre Paras, Louie and Loren Brill, Taylor Browne, Brian Enriquez, Jordan Heading, David Murrell, Franky Johnson, Cedric Pelayo, Troy Rike, Seraj Elmejrab, Dallas Serrano, Mikey Williams, Joshua Torralba, James Laput, and Michael Simmonds.

    The record for the most number of draft applicants in league history was 91 in the 2014 batch led by Ginebra star Stanley Pringle.

    Fil-Ams Joshua Munzon or Jamie Malonzo is seen to go No. 1 in the draft.

    The likes of Williams, Leonard Santillan, Alvin Pasaol, Johnson, Ben Adamos, and Larry Muyang are expected to be picked in the first round.

    The ineligibility of the highly-touted Fil-foreigners might just alter the plans of the teams in this year’s deep draft class.

    Terrafirma will be selecting first in the draft followed by NorthPort, and NLEX, which has the Nos. 3 and 4 picks.

    Rain or Shine owns the No. 5 selection, followed by Alaska, Phoenix, the Dyip, Meralco, Magnolia, the Batang Pier, and Ginebra.

    Due to the restrictions brought about by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the draft is likely to be held virtually.