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Marcial wants live rookie draft



The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is looking to hold the Annual Rookie Draft live at the venue around April or May.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said they prefer to revert the rookie draft to its usual live setup contrary to what was done in the previous year in which hopefuls were selected via a virtual ceremony.

Marcial said holding it live would be a more beneficial option for the teams as they can clearly assess and see the rookies before formally tapping them in the draft proceeding.

“We are still gauging whether to hold it in either April or May. Hopefully, we can have the chance to bring it back to normal setup,” Marcial said.

“Of course, we really prefer that since it’s a better option for everyone.”

Originally scheduled in March, the league has decided to push the rookie draft to a later date following the indefinite postponement of the Governors’ Cup.

The import-spiced tourney will likely resume in February and might end mid-April.

Joshua Munzon bannered the previous draft when Terrafirma made him the top pick ahead of other quality players like 2020 Philippine Cup Finals Most Valuable Player Mikey Williams, Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana and Alvin Pasaol.

This year’s rookie draft, meanwhile, is expected to feature more aspirants as the PBA had relaxed its eligibility rules for Filipino-foreign talents.

The league previously announced that Fil-foreign applicants no longer need to submit stringent requirements aside from having a valid Philippine passport.

Among the prospects who are expected to throw their names in the draft are Jason Brickmann and big man Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser.

But Marcial said everything is still up in the air as they are hoping that the surge of Covid cases will decrease in the coming weeks.

The Philippines logged 22,958 cases on Wednesday, the country’s lowest tally since 12 January.

“It’s still a bit far from now, but hopefully, things will get better after this surge,” Marcial said.