TOP local collegiate players and a Fil-American who has seen action in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) are among 215 aspirants in the 2015 PBA D-League Rookie Draft.
Von Pessumal of Ateneo and Jason Perkins of La Salle are among the notable homegrown aspirants in the draft scheduled on December 1 at the PBA Café in Ortigas.
Looking to make it to the PBA through the Development League is 29-year-old Fil-American Avery Scharer,
Undrafted in the NBA in 2010, Scharer led the ABL in assists and steals last season with the Malaysia Dragons. The guard out of Shoreline Community College in Washington, is one of 26 Fil-foreign players in the D-League draft pool. His mother is from Bauang, La Union.
“This is a huge pool. Certainly, this is an encouraging development for the league and basketball in general,” said PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa. “With a pool this big, I’m sure there’s a lot of talent out there. And who knows, maybe this batch could lead to new discoveries for future Gilas pools.”
The PBA D-League opens its sixth season in January 2016 with seven teams competing in the Aspirants’ Cup, namely Café France, Tanduay Light, AMA University, Racal/Keramix Mixers, Wangs Basketball, UP-QRS/Jam Liner and Mindanao Aguilas.
Racal/Keramix, which placed ninth in the Aspirants’ Cup and eighth in the Foundation Cup, owns the No. 1 pick in the draft. Picking second is AMA University followed by Tanduay Light, Café France and Wangs Basketball. UP-QRS/Jam Liner and Mindanao Aguilas will pick at either sixth or seventh spot, to be determined by lottery.
Playing a full season in the PBA D-League is a requirement for players who intend to join the PBA draft.
“I want to go back and play in the mother land,” Scharer said during an interview with Fil-Am community paper Asian Journal.
“My goal in life has always been to make the NBA and playing professionally in the Philippines is just one step closer,” Scharer told the Shoreline student newspaper Ebb Tide.
Fil-Am Julian Sargent of La Salle and Fil-Canadian Ryan Witherell are also in the pool. Ryan’s brother, Taylor, was selected 38th overall in this year’s PBA draft by GlobalPort but went unsigned.