Escandor and Phillips of La Salle apply for the PBA Draft; will Tiongson follow?

Jun 29, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – Evan Nelle is not the only champion from UAAP Season 87 in the draft pool. Another player from the De La Salle men’s basketball squad that won the UAAP is aiming to play in the PBA going forward. Francis Escandor, a key player alongside Evan Nelle, has also applied for the upcoming rookie draft, scheduled for July 14.

Escandor played a crucial role in De La Salle’s journey to the UAAP Season 86 title, helping the Taft-based squad defeat the University of the Philippines in the best-of-three finals. His performance has garnered attention and anticipation as he takes the next step in his basketball career.

Additionally, Fil-Am DJ Mitchell from La Salle and fellow Fil-Am Calvin Payawal from UE have also submitted draft applications. The upcoming draft promises to be an exciting event as these talented athletes vie for a chance to make their mark in the PBA.

There is a tremendous amount of talent in the pool for the PBA rookie draft, which takes place on July 14. Notable players from the collegiate and semi-professional divisions will be among them. Francis Escandor, a vital member of the De La Salle Green Archers who helped them win the UAAP Season 86 championship, is one of them. As he prepares to enter the professional league, Escandor’s contributions have not gone unappreciated, even if teammate Evan Nelle has been the center of attention.

Other prominent candidates include Fil-Am DJ Mitchell, who presently competes for Manila in the MPBL, and Evan Nelle and Francis Escandor. This would have been Mitchell’s final season, but a back injury kept him out of the Green Archers’ title campaign. Interest in his potential as a professional player has increased as a result of his recuperation and subsequent MPBL success.

In the meanwhile, Calvin Payawal of UE hopes to play in Asia’s first professional league, the PBA, by virtue of being picked No. 3 by Rain or Shine in the most recent draft, just like his former Red Warriors colleague Luis Villegas. Payawal is presently displaying his skills at the Valenzuela Classic of the MPBL. The organization recognized for helping talented athletes succeed in their professional careers, Espiritu Manotoc Basketball Management (EMBM), is an advocate for all three players: Evan Nelle, Francis Escandor, and Calvin Payawal.

Other notable candidates including Paul Garcia from Ateneo, CJ Cansino and CJ Catapusan from UP, and Ben Philips from La Salle are also included in the selection pool. Furthermore, Fil-Am Caelan Tiongson and John Uduba from Olivarez College have entered the race. Former Alab Pilipinas player Tiongson came out of retirement two years ago to play for the Taoyuan Leopards in the T1 League. He will participate for Strong Group Athletics in the next Jones Cup in Taiwan. Tiongson attended Biola University.

With so many talented and varied players in the mix, there could be an entertaining draft as teams try to add new players to their lineups. The PBA’s competitive environment is improved by the diverse talent and experience that each player offers, ranging from international competition to collegiate titles. Both observers and fans are looking forward to the draft, curious to discover which up-and-coming talent will succeed in the professional ranks. For these hopeful sportsmen looking to advance in their basketball careers, the draft on July 14th will surely be a crucial occasion.

Francis Escandor was a key member of the De La Salle Green Archers throughout his illustrious NCAA basketball career. Escandor, who is renowned for his adaptability and perseverance on the court, made a substantial contribution to La Salle’s run for the UAAP Season 86 championship. His ability to play well under duress was demonstrated by his performances in pivotal games, especially the championship matchup with the University of the Philippines. Together with his offensive prowess, Escandor’s defensive qualities made him an indispensable member of the Green Archers, gaining him respect and easing his path to the professional ranks.

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