PBA Draft

Ballungay, Nonoy among late entries as 70 players apply for PBA Draft

Delfin Dioquino

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Ballungay, Nonoy among late entries as 70 players apply for PBA Draft

SOAR. Kai Ballungay in action for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 86 men's basketball tournament


Kai Ballungay and Mark Nonoy beat the PBA Draft deadline along with other former UAAP stars like Dave Ildefonso, RJ Abarrientos, and Jerom Lastimosa

MANILA, Philippines – Former UAAP stars Kai Ballungay and Mark Nonoy were among those who beat the deadline as a total of 70 players applied for the PBA Draft as submissions closed on Thursday, July 4.

Ballungay and Nonoy, who won UAAP titles with Ateneo and La Salle, respectively, add depth to a draft pool composed of other collegiate standouts and imports in overseas leagues who are bringing their acts to the PBA.

Others who applied on the final day of submission include Dave Ildefonso, RJ Abarrientos, Jerom Lastimosa, and Jonnel Policarpio.

Ildefonso takes his talents to the PBA after two seasons with the Suwon KT Sonicboom in the Korean Basketball League, while Abarrientos returns home after a year each with the Shinshu Brave Warriors in the Japan B. League and Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus in the Korean Basketball League.

Lastimosa, who spurned overseas offers to play his final season with Adamson, finally goes pro, while Policarpio gives the PBA a shot after deciding to forego his remaining years with La Salle.

Joining Policarpio and Nonoy in the draft are other members of the La Salle crew that won the Season 86 championship in Evan Nelle, Francis Escandor, and Ben Phillips.

Also from La Salle, reigning Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League MVP Justine Baltazar headlines the field as he is expected to be picked No. 1 overall by Converge.

UAAP products CJ Cansino of UP, Jared Brown of Ateneo, Xyrus Torres of FEU, and Calvin Payawal of UE are also in the mix.

From the NCAA, the likes of Kurt Reyson of Letran, Miggy Corteza of St. Benilde, Peter Alfaro of San Beda, JP Maguliano of EAC, and Jielo Razon of Perpetual hope to turn their PBA dreams into reality.

As the PBA relaxed rules on Filipino-foreigners years ago, those who seek to join the league are Sedrick Barefield and Caelan Tiongson, who are touted as potential first-round picks.

Boasting of impressive playing credentials, Barefield suited up for the Oklahoma City Blue in the NBA G League, while Tiongson last played for the Taoyuan Leopards in the T1 League in Taiwan.

The PBA will release the final list of draft eligible players after the combine, which will be held from July 10 to 11 at the Ynares Center.

Draft day is on July 14 at Glorietta in Makati City. – 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.