WHO will the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas tab in the special Gilas Pilipinas draft on March 14?
Speaking during the Philippine Sports Association online Forum last Tuesday, SBP president Al Panlilio said the federation is eyeing to enlist five to six players for Gilas.
“I think the coaches have reviewed the list already. I think maybe we are looking at five to six players,” Panlilio said. “We are still finalizing it.”
Reigning NCAA MVP Calvin Oftana, formerly of San Beda University; former Ateneo big man William Navarro, and former University of the Philippines wingman Jaydee Tungcab have applied for the draft and are likely to be chosen in the Gilas draft since they are members of the national team training pool.
In 2019, five amateur standouts – Isaac Go (Terrafirma), Rey Suerte (Blackwater), Matt Nieto (NLEX), Allyn Bulanadi (Alaska), and Mike Nieto (Rain or Shine) – were selected in the special draft. They have yet to play for the teams that selected them.
Panlilio, also the first vice president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, said he already told PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial the list will be submitted soon.
“I was just communicating with Commissioner Willie (Marcial) last night (last Monday night). Sabi ko lang, give me another day or so,” Panlilio said. “But we should be able to give that to him on the next date or so.”
Aside from projected No. 1 pick overall Joshua Munzon and Jamie Malonzo, both Fil-Ams, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike, Leonard Santillan, RK Ilagan, Franky Johnson, Jerrick Ahanmisi, Ben Adamos, James Laput, Jun Manzo, Larry Muyang, and Andre Paras are expected to be picked in the first round.
The Dyip own the top pick overall anew in the regular draft, followed by NorthPort, the Elite, the Road Warriors, and the Elasto Painters in the top five.
Blackwater’s No. 3 selection will go to NLEX as part of the complicated three-team trade that sent JP Erram from the Road Warriors to TNT in February last year.