AFTER weeks of soul-searching, Gilas cadet big man Jake Pascual has decided to join the PBA rookie draft, formally filing his application on Monday at the pro league’s office in Libis, Quezon City.
Accompanied by his agent, Danny Espiritu, the 6-foot-4 big man out of San Beda submitted his application form in the afternoon to jack up the rookie applicants to 78.
Pascual, the Best Player in last year’s PBA D-League Foundation Cup, is so far the best homegrown big man in a rookie aspirants pool that is currently dominated by guards and small forwards.
“I’m very excited to join the draft,” Pascual told Spin.ph, proudly showing off his application form. “Pagiigihan ko pa ang offseason workout ko.”
GlobalPort, which owns the first pick, has already made it known that it intends to make Fil-American guard Stanley Pringle as the No. 1 overall pick.
Rain or Shine will pick at no. 2 followed by Barako Bull and expansion team NLEX, Pascual's former team in the D-league which, just two months ago, bought Air21 Express' PBA franchise.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao already said the team intend to upgrade its undersized frontline this offseason to provide the much-needed support for Beau Belga, JR Quinahan and reed-thin Raymond Almazan.
Pascual, a vital cog in the NLEX Road Warriors’ sixth D-League title last June, said it wouldn’t matter which PBA team will select him in the August 24 draft, so long as he fulfills his dream of playing in the pro league.
“Excited na ako maglaro sa PBA at siyempre, excited din ako maglaro sa team na kukuha sa akin,” he added.
His NLEX teammates from the D-League led by Garvo Lanete, Mat Ganuelas, Ronald Pascual, and Kevin Alas, have until Wednesday to file their applications at the PBA office.
Others who have already filed their rookie draft applications include Arellano University slotman Prince Caperal and playmaker Nard Pinto as well as Perpetual scorer Juneric Baloria.