PBA Draft

Justin Arana turns focus on PBA Draft after playing final NCAA game

Delfin Dioquino
Justin Arana turns focus on PBA Draft after playing final NCAA game

NATIONAL POOL PLAYER. NCAA star Justin Arana beefs up Gilas Pilipinas' frontcourt.

NCAA Philippines Facebook page

Arellano star Justin Arana looks to get himself ready for the upcoming PBA Draft, where he is seen as a potential first-round pick

MANILA, Philippines – Arellano star Justin Arana has set his sights on the PBA Draft after drawing the curtains on his NCAA career.

Arana played his final NCAA game on Sunday, May 1, as Arellano crashed out of Final Four contention following 52-59 loss to Perpetual in their Season 97 play-in game.

The defeat marked a disappointing end to an impressive NCAA campaign for Arana, who emerged as a contender for the Most Valuable Player honors with averages of 14.8 points, 17.1 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in nine games.

“I gave it my all. We just came up short,” the big man said in Filipino.

Arana was nowhere to be found in the final frame against Perpetual as he went scoreless in the period, where they were outscored 15-9 after a nip-and-tuck battle in the first three periods.

He then sat on the bench for the last five minutes, visibly frustrated at their impending exit.

Covered with a towel, Arana then wiped away his tears as he sang the Arellano hymn for the final time as a player.

“I got carried away by my emotions because I really did not want to lose. I made a promise to the Arellano community, especially our management, that I will bring Arellano to the Final Four,” Arana said.

“It really hurts. But I have to move on.”

Arana has no time to mope as he looks to get himself ready for the upcoming PBA Draft, where he is seen as a potential first-round pick.

The PBA will welcome a new set of rookies on May 15.

“I have a lot to prove. I have a lot to develop and I need to put in the extra work. There are a lot of things that I need to do for me to achieve my PBA dream,” Arana said.

While Arana received interest from Japan B. League teams late last year, the 6-foot-7 standout said the PBA is his next stop.

“My focus after the NCAA is really the PBA. That is my next move.” – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.