COLUMBIAN, Blackwater, NorthPort, and Meralco will have the first crack at the next pool of freshmen as they own the first four picks in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.
The Dyip will have the enviable position of picking first after bottoming out in all three conferences this year, finishing in last place in both the Philippine and Governors' Cup before moving up slightly to ninth in the Commissioner's Cup.
The Elite were also cellar-dwellers in the first two conferences, ranking 10th in the all-Filipino tournament and 12th in the Commissioner's Cup. But its improved showing in the season-ending tourney, where it placed fifth heading into the playoffs, had Blackwater's selection sliding down to the second spot.
CJ Perez, Bobby Ray Parks, and Robert Bolick are expected to headline this year's class in the draft set on December 16 at Robinsons Place in Ermita, Manila.
On the other hand, NorthPort propelled itself to the Top Three after an 11th-place finish in the Governors' Cup following its seventh- and eighth-place finishes in the first two conferences of the season.
It was the opposite for the Bolts, who went 11th in the Philippine Cup but remained in the middle of the pack in the import-laden conferences by finishing sixth and seventh.
The draft order, however, may still undergo slight changes depending on the results of the Governors' Cup playoffs.
Blackwater, which is shooting for its first franchise semifinal appearance against fourth-seed Magnolia in the quarters, will still own a Top Two selection even if it makes it to the Final Four.
The Elite's pick, though, will drop to as low as fourth if the team reaches the finals.
Meralco is also stuck at No. 4 regardless of the result of its quarterfinal pairing against second-seed Phoenix. But if the Bolts advance to the finals for the third straight year, the selection can go down to as low as No. 6.
In such a scenario, Rain or Shine, Phoenix, and NLEX will then move up to the middle of the first round order.
The Elasto Painters will have two selections in the first round: the TNT pick acquired from the Jericho Cruz-Sidney Onwubere swap which might get to as high as No. 5, as well as their own pick which is seen to drop to No. 8.
From there, Alaska and Magnolia take their turns, before Columbian and Phoenix close out the first round.
San Miguel and Ginebra gave up their first round selections to the Dyip and the Fuel Masters, respectively, in prior deals.
The full first-round draft order, however, is still dependent on the outcome of the ongoing Governors' Cup, with the quarterfinals set to begin on Tuesday.