AMA Online Education pulled off a big surprise by making pint-sized guard Reed Baclig as the first overall pick of the 2020 PBA D-League Rookie Draft held at the league’s offices in Quezon City Monday afternoon. Marinerong Pilipino capitalized by using the second pick on De La Salle University’s high-flying forward Jamie Malonzo, the heavy choice for the top pick in the days entering the draft.
Newly-appointed coach Jeff Napa tabbed Gilas Pilipinas aspirant JD Tungcab of the University of the Philippines for renamed Karate Kid-CEU. Reigning NCAA champion Wang’s-Letran then closed the first round by selected big man Shamasneh Banez from its own pool of players.
As the only club team in the 12-team Aspirants Cup, Marinero had a field day netting solid players to join Malonzo led by fellow DLSU alumni Joshua Torralba and Jollo Go, Daniel Spencer of UP, Judel Ric Fuentes of CEU, Shane Menina of the University of Cebu, Yves Sazon of Philippine Christian University, Miguel Gastador of University of San Jose-Recoletos, Marcus Ejercito of San Beda University and Rendell Senining of Far Eastern University.
Karate Kid proceeded to add big man John Apacible of Univeristy of the East and the UP tandem of J-Boy Gob and David Murrell, Jamil Bulawan from Camarines Sur, Darriel Bayla of Arellano University, Joseph Gabriel Pineda, Daryl Pascual from Letran, Ivan Jose and drafted Adamson University guard Jerie Pingoy who was still available by the 10th round.
AMA used practically all its picks to take in Baclig’s teammates at the Titans varsity save for their 10th round selection which brought in rapper Young JV, whose real name is Eduardo Kapunan. As everyone else passed after the 11th round, the Titans were all alone and fittingly picked Alec Catorce in the 14th round and ended the exercise with 20th round pick Jeff Arceo who last saw action for AMA eight years ago.
A late participant in the draft, the Knights also used their picks on varsity players beginning with prolific scorer Kenny Rogers Rocacurva in the second round. He was followed by Kobe Monje, Paolo Javillonar and Jayson Bondoc.
The 2020 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup will open on February 13. Other participating teams are EcoOil-DLSU, Far Eastern University, Mapua University, University of Santo Tomas, Diliman College, Technological Institute of the Philippines, San Sebastian College and Enderun Colleges.