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MANILA, Philippines—A total of 85 aspirants comprise a deep and talented 2013 pool looking to make it to the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
On Monday, October 28, the batch of rookie hopefuls made their first step toward achieving that goal.
The draft applicants filled the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City for the annual PBA Rookie Camp where the league conducted a series of biometric tests for the hopefuls. (READ: Ginebra gets 1st overall pick on 2013 PBA Draft)
Basic information like height, weight, and wing-span and strength tests which included sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, and vertical leap were all measured.
‘Big’ an understatement for Slaughter
As expected, former Ateneo Blue Eagle and Gilas Pilipinas center Greg Slaughter stood tallest at 6’11” 5/8, followed by Letran’s lanky big man Raymond Almazan who measured 6’ 7” 3/4. Former San Beda Red Lion Anjo Caram meanwhile was the shortest, measuring 5’6” 3/4.
Fil-Hawaiian John Usita, a 6’7” behemoth weighed in at a massive 301 lbs, topping everybody else on the list. His weight is even heavier than the combined weight of the two lightest applicants Jeffrey Bongat (143 lbs) and LA Revilla (146 lbs).
When it comes to wing span, Slaughter still tops the list at an 85-inch arm span ranging from tip to tip, while Usita follows at 83 inches.
When it came to the strength tests, other players shared the spotlight. Former FEU Tamaraw Paul Sanga finished with a whopping 533 sit-ups followed by little-known Angel Ingco who had 499.
On push-ups, explosive ABL guard and one-time Gilas Pilipinas gunner Justin Melton topped the pool with 104 repetitions, and his high-flying frame also enabled him to reach the 11-foot-4 mark in the vertical leap test despite just standing 5’10”.
He finished third, behind leaders Slaughter, and PBA D-League shot block leader Isaac Holstein who both reached 11-foot-6. Adamson Soaring Falcon Alex Nuyles also reached the 11-foot-4 mark.
Rounding up the Rookie Camp leaders is swing man Janno Baronda who had 60 bench presses.
After the physical fitness tests, some of the talents will be invited to practice with PBA squads to give scouts an idea of how well they play and how capable they are of playing in the big league.
The annual PBA Draft will take place on Sunday, November 3 at Robinsons Place Manila. – Rappler.com