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PBA drops Gilas draft

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial: No special Gilas draft for now.

There will be no special draft for Gilas Pilipinas players when the Philippine Basketball Association holds its annual Rookie Draft on 17 September at Market! Market! in Taguig City.

League commissioner Willie Marcial said they will revert to the traditional format, which means that amateur stars who played in Gilas before like Mason Amos, Jerom Lastimosa and Kevin Quiambao will not be placed in the special draft should they decide to join the annual selection process.

“Right now, we don’t have special draft for Gilas players,” Marcial said during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

It’s going to be the first time for the PBA to hold the draft at Market! Market! since 2010 when Air21 made Noy Baclao of Ateneo its top choice.

The first time that Market! Market! hosted the draft was in 2006 when Kelly Williams was selected as top overall pick by Sta. Lucia.

Marcial, however, didn’t disclose the names of applicants who have already submitted their names in the draft, saying that those who are interested will show up in the Draft Combine set on 12 and 13 September at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City.

This early, several notable names had made known their intention of  joining the draft like Filipino-American Keith Datu, Lawrence Domingo, Ricci Rivero, Brent Paraiso, Brandon Bates, Raffy Verano, Luis Villegas and Sherwin Concepcion.

The PBA will open its new season with the Commissioner’s Cup on 15 October where imports with 6-foot-9 height limit will see action.

“Our season will start October and will end April. The Commissioner’s Cup will end in February, then a few days later, we will start the All-Filipino,” Marcial said, adding that they will also have three games in Hong Kong featuring the returning Bay Area Dragons as well in various provinces following the success of the PBA On Tour in which they played in Tiaong in Quezon Province, Baliwag in Bulacan, Batangas City and Dumaguete City.

“The All-Star Weekend might fall in March and will be held in Bacolod.”

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