For former PBA coach and current UP Fighting Maroons mentor Bo Perasol, Jamie Malonzo, a standout from La Salle, and Fil-American Joshua Munzon may stand out to be the projected top overall picks in the coming PBA Rookie Draft.
Malonzo and Munzon are high on the list of Perasol, but is choosing the former for obvious reasons—size and athleticism.
“Both are excellent talents who will make an immediate impact to whichever team picks them up,” wrote Perasol in a text message to Manila Standard. “Malonzo, though, will have a great advantage playing as a wing man in the PBA rather than a big.”
Standing 6’6”, but possesses an athleticism similar to that of 6’9” Ginebra center/forward Japeth Aguilar and a young Arwind Santos, Malonzo is expected to be right up there in Terrafirma Dyip’s list.
Terrafirma Dyip will be picking first in the draft followed by NorthPort and then NLEX, which will have No. 3 and No. 4 selections. Picking fifth is Rain or Shine and will be followed by Magnolia at No. 6. Rounding out the first round will be Alaska (No. 7), San Miguel (No. 8), Meralco (No.9), Phoenix (No.10), NorthPort (No. 11) and newly-crowned Bubble champion Barangay Ginebra (No. 12).
On Wednesday, the PBA closed the deadline for the submission of application forms for PBA Rookie Draft hopefuls, which reached a total of 94 applicants.
Aside from Malonzo, other projected early picks in the draft include Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Fil-Australian Troy Rike and Santi Santillan, all members of the Philippine 3 x 3 squad, Gilas Pilipinas standout Calvin Oftana, who is expected to join the regular draft and not the special draft for Gilas, and Taylor Statham, a veteran campaigner of the FIBA 3 x 3.
Others also being considered to be selected in the first round are 6’10” James Laput, guard Aljun Melecio, Fil-Am spitfire guard Mike Williams and Gilas standouts Will Navarro and Jaydee Tungcab.
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