PBA Draft

La Salle’s Nelle, UP’s Cansino lead early batch of PBA hopefuls

Philip Matel

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

La Salle’s Nelle, UP’s Cansino lead early batch of PBA hopefuls

STALWARTS. UP's CJ Cansino and La Salle's Evan Nelle in action in the UAAP Season 86 finals.


‘I’m really excited for this next chapter of my life, which has always been my dream,’ says La Salle’s Evan Nelle after throwing his name in the PBA Rookie Draft along with UP's CJ Cansino and CJ Catapusan, and Ateneo’s Paul Garcia

MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle Green Archer floor general Evan Nelle and former UP Fighting Maroons team captain CJ Cansino headline the early applicants for the PBA Rookie Draft set this July. 

The two UAAP champions were joined by UP’s CJ Catapusan and Ateneo’s Paul Garcia, their agent Charlie Dy told Rappler on Wednesday, June 19.

“I’m really excited for this next chapter of my life, which has always been my dream,” said Nelle. “I’m excited to learn from my new coaches, teammates, vets and opponents. I can’t wait to play alongside the greats. I hope I make it. Praying that a team will pick me and trust me. This is it.”

Dy of Virtual Playground Global Management filed the draft applications on behalf of the quartet on Wednesday at the league’s Libis, Quezon City headquarters.

Nelle helped lead La Salle to the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball title at the expense of the Maroons in a series which went the distance.

In La Salle’s twin victories, the all-around guard nearly averaged a triple-double, putting up 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 8.5 assists on top of 3.5 steals and 1 block as La Salle bagged its 10th UAAP title.

Prior to his La Salle stint, Nelle starred for the San Beda Red Lions, where he also won the NCAA Season 94 crown. 

Meanwhile, Cansino moves on to Asia’s first professional league after suiting up for the MPBL’s Iloilo United Royals.

He told Rappler that joining the PBA would fulfill a dream he and his family could only imagine a few years back.

“I am admittedly nervous, but all I need is an opportunity to play for a team that will fully trust me,” said Cansino in Filipino.

“I’m excited because I’m moving one step closer to my dream, and hopefully I get drafted by a team where I could contribute well. [I’m also] looking forward to facing those who inspired me and taught me to dream.” 

Although hit by two ACL injuries in college, Cansino helped bring both the UST Growling Tigers and the Maroons to the UAAP finals.

Cansino, who was hobbled by a knee injury, hit several big shots down the stretch in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 84 finals, where UP ended a 36-year championship drought after a pulsating overtime finish.

The team captain concluded his final collegiate season in 2023, norming 10.9 points on a 36% clip from three-point land with 3.1 rebounds.

Cansino’s teammate in both UP and Iloilo, Catapusan, will also join the ranks after showcasing his scoring wares and his desire to deliver in the clutch.

“One of my dreams in life is to play in the PBA,” said Catapusan in Filipino. “Since I was a kid, I’ve been watching the PBA and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to join the draft.“

Garcia, who was a member of Ateneo’s UAAP Season 85 championship team, expressed his excitement at the possibility of playing pro in the PBA.

“Being in the PBA is something I’ve worked for and dreamt about since I was a kid. I’m thankful for my family and management that has been supporting me and encouraging me every step of the way,” said Garcia. 

The PBA set a July 4 application deadline for the draft, where the Converge FiberXers are tipped as frontrunners to land the top overall selection. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!