NBA unrestricted free agents Tautuaa, King likely top picks in PBA D-League Rookie Draft
Moala Tautuaa, the American born Fil-Tongan playing for the Kuala Lumpur Dragons in the Asean Basketball League (ABL), is expected to become the top pick in the coming PBA D-League Rookie Draft. Dante Peralta

TWO NBA unrestricted free agents are among the 155 aspirants wishing for Lady Luck to be on their side when the Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League (PBADL) holds its 2014 Rookie Draft on Monday.

Moala Tautuaa, an American-born Fil-Tongan, and Fil-Am guard Jeramy King went undrafted during the  2012 and 2014 NBA draft respectively, but are now keeping their fingers crossed as they hope their playing careers would turn for the better in this side of the world.

The two are among the total of 18 Fil-foreign players who beef up the talent-rich pool, more than enough to ensure all 12 teams seeing action in the season-opening Aspirants’ Cup would be able to form a competitive team.

“We are very happy with the interest generated by our Rookie Draft. The list indicates that we have a rich pool of talent to select from. After going through the list, I am convinced that we will have a very competitive 2015 season,” said PBA commissioner Chito Salud.

The field also includes 46 local players currently seeing action in the UAAP, NCAA, and NAASCU.

Of the field, Tautuaa looms as the prospective No.1 pick, taking into account his built and size.

The 25-year old power forward is among the tallest in the pool at 6-foot-7 and weighs 237 lbs. He is currently playing for the Kuala Lumpur Dragons in the Asian Basketball League (ABL).

Cagayan Valley, which finished sixth in last season’s Aspirants’ Cup and 10th  in the Foundation Cup, holds the No. 1 pick.

The second pick belongs to Tanduay Light followed by Café France, Cebuana Lhuillier, Jumbo Plastic, and Wangs Basketball.

The six new teams – AMA University, Bread Story, Hapee Toothpaste, M-Builders, MP Hotel, and Racal Motorsales Corp. - will complete the drafting order through lottery right on draft day.

The proceedings will begin at 1 p.m. at the PBA Office in Libis Quezon City.

With perennial champion NLEX and Blackwater Sport taking their acts to the pro league this year, the fifth season of the league is expected to be a wide-open race among the 12 competing teams.

The Aspirants’ Cup is set to begin on October 27.

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