PBA Draft

MVP Archie Concepcion seizes chance as big names miss PBA Draft Combine

Delfin Dioquino

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MVP Archie Concepcion seizes chance as big names miss PBA Draft Combine

MVP. Archie Concepcion (middle) poses for a photo with PBA commissioner Willie Marcial (left) and LA Tenorio after being named MVP of the Draft Combine.

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Former Arellano guard Archie Concepcion claims the MVP honors in the mini tournament of the PBA Draft Combine as a number of potential first-round picks fail to attend

MANILA, Philippines – Without some of the big names in the PBA Draft Combine, lesser-known Archie Concepcion seized the spotlight.

The former Arellano Chiefs shooting guard claimed the Most Valuable Player honors in the mini tournament on Wednesday, September 13, as a number of potential first-round picks missed the Draft Combine.

Capping his solid run, Concepcion scored 14 points and helped Team NLEX hack out a 78-71 win over Team Phoenix in the finale.

“One of my motivations is if I get this kind of award, I’ll probably be recognized more,” said Concepcion, who went on to play for his home team Pampanga Lanterns in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

The PBA drew a record 128 rookie applicants, but a couple of players who are expected to be picked high did not show up in the draft combine.

Zavier Lucero (UP), Stephen Holt (St. Mary’s), and Brandon Bates (La Salle) were no-shows in the two-day event, while Keith Datu (Chico State) attended the second day only as a spectator.

Holt enters the draft with the most impressive credentials having played in the NBA G League, Lucero is an athletic forward oozing with upside, while Bates and Datu are two of the tallest in the pool standing at 6-foot-8.

“The underrated players were able to give their best here and I hope the scouts saw,” said Concepcion.

Concepcion also bannered the Mythical Five that included Ralph Cu (La Salle), Warren Bonifacio (Mapua), Adrian Nocum (Mapua), and Jayson Apolonio (Don Mariano Marcos).

Meanwhile, Ken Tuffin (FEU) topped the Three-Point Contest as he scored 15 of the possible 18 points to best Kyt Jimenez (Perpetual) and Jolo Mendoza (Ateneo), who both finished with 12 points.

Tuffin is also tipped to be selected in the first round after honing his craft in the New Zealand National Basketball League.

Draft day is on Sunday, September 17, at Market! Market! in Taguig City, with Terrafirma picking first for the fifth time over the last six editions. – Rappler.com

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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.