MANILA, Philippines — A total of 124 hopefuls hope to hear their names called Sunday during the 2023 PBA Draft at Market! Walk! in Taguig.
The PBA released the official list of draft candidates on Friday, consisting of players from the NCAA, UAAP or players of foreign origin on their X account.
Topping the list of UAAP players were Season 85 champions BJ Andrade and Matthew Daves of Ateneo, alongside La Salle star Schonny Winston.
Also included in the UAAP PBA Aspiring List.
The NCAA isn’t lacking in representation either.
King Caralipio, Tommy Olivario, Brent Paraiso, Louie Sangalang and Fran Yu, who helped Letran achieve a historic three-peat in the 98 NCAA season, look to continue their winning streak in the professional league.
JC Cular, from Collège Saint-Benilde, last season’s finalist, also declared himself a candidate for the draft. San Beda products JB Bahio, James Kwekuteye and Kemark Cariño are also hoping to be selected.
Perpetual Help’s Kim Aurin, Mapua’s Warren Bonifacio and Adrian Nocum, Arellano’s Cade Flores and Shane Menina, Lyceum’s Enoch Valdez and San Sebastian’s Rhinwil Yambing also threw their names in the hat.
But of all the contenders, Fil-American guard Stephen Holt has the most impressive resume.
Holt, 6-foot-4, played in the NBA G League and Summer League with the Atlanta Hawks after going undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Holt, 31, has also played in Australia and Europe and his experience is another reason why he could go No. 1 in the PBA draft, for which Terrafirma is selected first.
A surprising name on the list is John Amores of Jose Rizal University.
Amores is best known for lashing out during an NCAA game last season, earning him an indefinite ban.
Blackwater comes in second while Rain or Shine has the third and fourth choices. NorthPort follows in fifth place.
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