Ed Daquioag, Mac Belo, Kevin Ferrer and Arnold Van Opstal are among the top PBA aspirants.
Belo, Van Opstal, Ferrer, Daquiaog loom as top picks in PBA Draft
Nelson Beltran (Philstar.com) - October 25, 2016 - 2:17pm

MANILA, Philippines – Arnold Van Opstal, Kevin Ferrer, Jio Jalalon, Ed Daquiaog and Chris Tolomia loom as the next leading choices with Mac Belo cinch to be the No. 1 pick by Blackwater in the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft set Sunday at Robinson’s Place Manila.

Ferrer, Jalalon, Daquiaog and Tolomia are among the Gilas lead guns while the 6-foot-9 Van Opstal is the top option as frontline player.

Blackwater, the worst performer in the recent PBA season, is guaranteed of the top choices in both the Gilas special draft and in the regular draft. Team owner Dioceldo Sy has said they’re picking Belo in the Gilas draft.

The teams that will be drafting next, or the complete draft order will be resolved by the PBA board of governors in a meeting tomorrow.

 “Whatever the draft order is, I guess the consensus top four are Mac Belo, Kevin Ferrer, Ed Daquiaog and Chris Tolomia. But in our case, we have to look at Van Opstal as we don’t have a big man after Mick Pennisi,” said Phoenix Petroleum top official Raymond Zorrilla.

Phoenix Petroleum holds the No. 2 pick in the regular draft by virtue of a previous trade deal with the Star Hotshots.

The question is which team will be awarded the second pick in the Gilas draft. The board is looking either at the regular draft order, the draft order including past trade deals or a new scheme based on the performances of the ball clubs in a certain period.

Others players to be picked from the Gilas pool are Roger Pogoy, Russell Escoto, Von Pessumal, Carl Bryan Cruz, Alfonso Gotladera and Matthew Wright.

Meanwhile, Raphael Banal, Joshua Alolino, Chris Javier, Joeffrey Javillonar and Jonathan Grey are among the top prospects in the regular draft.

All the aspirants will be tested as they undergo agility and skills challenges then play in a knockout mini tourney in the 2016 PBA Draft Combine set today and tomorrow at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.

The 55 applicants will be divided into eight teams, composed of six to seven players. First, they will be measured and will undergo performance tests starting at 11 a.m. today.

They show their game skills the following day, competing in a single-elimination tournament.

Blackwater and Phoenix are first and second in the draft order to be followed by Barangay Ginebra (from Phoenix), Mahindra, Star (from GlobalPort), San Miguel Beer (from NLEX), Meralco, NLEX (from TNT KaTropa), Rain or Shine, Ginebra, Alaska and Phoenix (from San Miguel) to round out the first round.

NLEX (from Blackwater) is No. 1 in the second round followed by Rain or Shine (from Star), GlobalPort (from Phoenix), Meralco (from Mahindra), Alaska (from Globalport), Rain or Shine (from NLEX), GlobalPort (from Meralco), Phoenix (from TNT), Rain or Shine, Mahindra (from Ginebra), Alaska and Phoenix (from San Miguel).

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