Boracay Rum set to pick Banchero in DL draft
MANILA, Philippines - The PBA D-League holds its maiden Rookie Draft today with Fil-Italian Chris Banchero tipped as the No. 1 overall pick and Boracay Rum gaining the first crack after Café France and Cebuana Lhuillier opted to pass up their respective drafting rights.
Café France owns the top pick in the draft, but ceded its option to land the 6-foot-1 Banchero when it forged a tie-up with the basketball program of Centro Escolar University.
Cebuana Lhuillier, set to pick second, also announced that it had also linked up with the University of the East, thus, also passing up on its draft rights in the first round.
That gives Boracay Rum the honor to select first from the pool of 143 aspirants in rites set at 2 p.m. at the PBA Office in Libis, Quezon City.
Boracay Rum coach Lawrence Chongson said they are set to make Banchero the first ever No.1 pick of the feeder league to the PBA.
“He’s definitely the top of his class that’s why we won’t waste the rare chance,” said Chongson, who led Boracay Rum to a third place finish in last season’s Foundation Cup.
Big Chill picks next, followed by Blackwater Sports, Cagayan Valley, Hog’s Breath and Jumbo Plastic.
Four-time champion NLEX, set to pick sixth, is also fielding a school-based team (San Beda College) with one new player.
The drafting order of the five new teams – Air21, Banco de Oro, M-Builders, Ur Value and Wangs – will be determined by lottery. Four of those teams are also built around school-based teams.
Air21 will be bannered in the Aspirants’ Cup by Arellano U, BDO will be represented by National U, M-Builders by Trinity U and Ur Value by the University of Philippines Fighting Maroons.
A total of 27 Fil-foreign players and a slew of collegiate and commercial veterans, including sons of two former cage greats in Jerrold Nielsen Asaytono and Josemarie Adornado are among the aspirants.