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CJ Perez to Columbian as No. 1 pick in PBA Rookie Draft 2018

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Columbian's rebuild is in full effect.

After trading the top pick last year to San Miguel, the Dyip made good use of their No. 1 overall pick by selecting CJ Perez in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft at the Robinsons Manila in Ermita on Sunday, December 16.

The former Lyceum Pirate and NCAA Most Valuable Player will form a young core with Jerramy King and Rashawn McCarthy as Columbian seeks to get out of the cellar it has dwelled in for years since joining the PBA in 2014. 

Dream come true para sa akin,” said Perez. “Best effort and hustle [ang gusto kong ma-contribute sa Columbian.] Sana marami pa akong maitulong at ma-improve.”

(This is a dream come true for me. I’m hoping to give Columbian my best effort and hustle. I hope I can help them and improve even more.)

Meanwhile, Blackwater may have hit the jackpot with the No. 2 selection after getting two-time UAAP MVP Ray Parks of the NU Bulldogs. 

Although technically a rookie, Parks is not short of experience after playing in the NBA Summer League, NBA G League and the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), where he won back-to-back local MVP awards. 

Parks, though, wasn't present on draft day as he flew with Alab Pilipinas to Indonesia to face the CLS Knights in the ABL.

NorthPort got its wish of finding star point guard Stanley Pringle a backcourt partner by using the No. 3 pick on former San Beda Red Lion Robert Bolick. 

Bolick has been a proven winner in the collegiate scene, winning one UAAP title with La Salle and helping San Beda complete a title three-peat. He once scored a whopping 50 points in NCAA Season 94. 

Bibigay ko lang lahat. Since bata ako at college, hard work lang binibigay ko,” said Bolick.

(I’ll give eveything that I have. Ever since I was young and when I was playing in college, I just really put in the hard work.)

NLEX, which traded Alex Mallari and Dave Marcelo to Phoenix to obtain the No. 4 pick, came up with the first surprise pick of the draft by selecting University of the Philippines’ Paul Desiderio.

Desiderio just came from a stellar run with the UP Fighting Maroons, who reached the UAAP title round for the first time in 32 years.

Hindi ko inaasahan na maaga ako mapi-pick,” said Desiderio. “Gagawin ko best ko para makatulong sa team, magiging flexible ako.”

(I didn’t expect to be picked so early. I’ll just do my best to help the team, I’ll try to be flexible.)

Meralco tapped Fil-Am guard Trevis Jackson, a 23-year-old from Sacramento who’s being compared to San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

Rain or Shine, which had the 6th and 8th overall picks, selected Javee Mocon of the San Beda Red Lions and JJay Alejandro of the National University Bulldogs, respectively. 

Former La Salle Green Archer Abu Tratter, arguably the pool's best big man, went to the Road Warriors as the No. 7 pick. 

Lyceum had another player in the first round as Alaska made MJ Ayaay – Perez’s teammate in the Pirates’ solid NCAA run – the 9th overall choice.

San Sebastian forward Mike Calisaan went to the Magnolia Hotshots, while Letran point guard JP Calvo – the youngest draftee at 21 years old and the MVP during the Draft Combine – got selected by Columbian Dyip at 11th.

The Phoenix Fuel Masters rounded out the first round by selecting Jorey Napoles, who may be little known as he came from a relatively small program at the Technological Institute of the Philippines, but the 6-foot-4 cager proved to be impressive in the D-League and the Draft Combine.

First Round

Second Round

Third Round

Fourth Round

Fifth Round


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.