128 candidates apply for the Rookie Draft, a record

Sep 12, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines – The 48th PBA Rookie Draft is inspiring a level of enthusiasm and expectation among basketball fans that has never been seen before. A new record has been reached in PBA history with a record-breaking 128 players declaring their eligibility for the draft. The previous record of 97, which was set during the Season 46 draft, has been surpassed by this astounding increase in candidates. Basketball fans and scouts are anxious to see the skill that these ambitious players bring to the league as the PBA prepares for this historic occasion.

On September 17, the highly anticipated PBA Rookie Draft will take place, which will be a turning point in these young athletes’ careers. The league has planned the Draft Combine for September 12 and 13 at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong as a pre-draft event. Teams are able to evaluate the candidates’ abilities, physical characteristics, and potential during this Combine, which serves as an important evaluation process. Decisions regarding which players to draft are determined during these grueling evaluation days, paving the way for their professional future.

In this year’s draft, Terrafirma, a reputable PBA franchise, will hold the honorable duty of selecting first overall. The order of selection is determined by a number of variables, including the performance of the team the previous season. Blackwater will choose second after Terrafirma, then Phoenix, NLEX, Rain or Shine, NorthPort, and Meralco. The teams’ efforts to improve their rosters and prepare for the future are reflected in the order of selection. Converge will have the chance to choose candidates for spots 9 and 10 after NorthPort and Terrafirma.

While the record number of applicants heightens interest for the competition, it also presents teams and scouts with a special challenge. Such a big skill pool necessitates critical thought and in-depth evaluation. Teams must strike a balance between the present demands of their squads and the promise of unproven talent. This draft is one of the most important turning points in recent PBA history since the choices made on draft day can have a big influence on a team’s fortunes for years to come.

This year’s draft is even more intriguing due to the large number of candidates and the PBA’s choice to postpone the start of the 48th season. The season opening, which was originally supposed to start on October 15th, has been postponed to November 5th, 2023. The purpose of this tactical choice is to provide athletes enough time to relax and heal before representing their teams at the Asian Games. Recognizing the physical and psychological demands of professional basketball, the choice was made with the players’ welfare in mind.

In recognition of the sacrifices players make for the league, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial underlined the significance of providing them with adequate rest. We must give them enough rest because of what they did for the sacrifice, Marcial said. The league’s dedication to making sure clubs are rested and ready for the forthcoming season is shown in this change in the season opener.

Notably, the PBA’s 48th season will now begin on November 5, 2023, instead of October 15. To give athletes enough time to relax and recover before competing in the Asian Games, this choice was made.

Willie Marcial, the commissioner of the PBA, underlined the value of providing players with the required relaxation while also honoring their contributions on behalf of the league. We must give them enough rest because of what they did for the sacrifice, Marcial said. The league’s dedication to making sure teams are rested and ready for the forthcoming season is reflected in this rescheduling.

The Annual Draft and the Draft Combine will go on as scheduled despite the change in the season start date. The Draft Combine will be conducted at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City, while the Annual Draft will be held at Market Market in Taguig City. This year’s draft is one of the most anticipated and important occasions in PBA history, with a total of 31 players from the Philippines and 128 other aspirants submitting their applications for the Draft.

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