PBA commissioner Willie Marcial (Photo from PBA Images)

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said that the Board of Governors needs to decide on the number of players to be included in the special draft for Gilas Pilipinas in the PBA Rookie Draft on March 14.

Marcial said Wednesday that he is set to meet board chairman Ricky Vargas of TNT Tropang Giga.

“Mag-usap muna kami ni chairman Ricky Vargas, then magkaroon kami ng board meeting next week para mapag-usapan kung ilan,” said Marcial when contacted by Manila Bulletin.

“Doon muna kasi kailangan ang pag-usapan kung ilan, then saka susunod kung sinong mga kasama. So next week na lahat malamang yan, mag-usap na muna kami sa board.”

In last Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum online, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio said that he is asking the PBA to have five to six players in the special draft.

While there is no official list yet for the special draft, there are amateur players currently with the national team pool, including Justine Baltazar of La Salle, Javi Gomez de Liano and Jaydee Tungcab, San Beda’s Calvin Oftana, and Will Navarro of Ateneo.

Oftana, Tungcab and Navarro all applied for the Draft.

In the previous rookie draft, five players were included in the special draft by Gilas, namely Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, and twin brothers Matt and Mike Nieto, and PBA teams picked all five.

However, all five opted to stay with the national team as none played in the PBA’s previous season. All are hoping to be part of the 2023 FIBA World Cup the country is hosting with Indonesia and Japan.

Go went to Columbian Dyip, Suerte to Blackwater, Matt Nieto to NLEX, Bulanadi to Alaska and Mike Nieto to Rain or Shine.

Marcial said that same as to the last rookie draft, the special draft order will follow the regular selection process, with Terrafirma holding the No. 1 pick, NorthPort at No. 2, NLEX at third and fourth picks, Rain or Shine at fifth, and Magnolia at sixth overall.

“Ganun pa din kagaya last year, kung si Terrafirma ang No. 1 sa regular drafting order, sila din ang top pick sa special draft. So wala namang magbabago dun for this year,” said the league chief.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/02/04/pba-board-to-finalize-special-draft/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pba-board-to-finalize-special-draft)