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Fil-Am Joshua Munzon heads 65 PBA draft picks

Terrafirma governor Bobby Rosales (left) and PBA commissioner Willie Marcial take a photo together with top pick Joshua Munzon on the TV screen during the first virtual draft on Sunday.*

As expected by fans and observers alike, Joshua Munzon was the first pick of the regular Philippine Basketball Association  Draft held virtually on Sunday night.

And for the Philippines’ No. 1 3×3 player, it is a great privilege that he headlines what many touted as the most talent laden draft class in recent history.

Including the four Gilas picks, 65 players were drafted, setting the new record for the most players selected in a single draft

“I’m just super honored and super excited to be in this position,” said Munzon, who is making his way back into professional 5-on-5 play.

Terrafirma took the 26-year-old Munzon, who was born in Long Beach, California, first in the regular draft as the team looks to groom him as replacement for CJ Perez, who was traded to San Miguel last month.

“I’m ready to come in and get to work,” the 6-foot-4 Munzon further said. “I just want to come in, contribute, be a good teammate, somebody who works hard, be a good example on and off the court, and just continue to get better myself.”

The Dyip later used the Beermen’s supposed draft pick which was included in the trade package for Perez, the eighth pick in the regular draft, to select James Laput, the tallest in the draft class at 6-10.

NorthPort took high-flying forward Jamie Malonzo with the second pick and later picked Troy Rike with the 11th pick, the draft selection they got from TNT as part of a 2018 trade between Mo Tautuaa and Terrence Romeo.

NLEX drafted Calvin Oftana third overall, TNT got Mikey Williams with the fourth pick, while Rain Or Shine went for Santi Santillan with the fifth pick and Alaska took Ben Adamos with the sixth pick.

Phoenix took bruising big man Larry Muyang with the seventh pick, Meralco went with Alvin Pasaol No. 9, and Magnolia picked Jerrick Ahanmisi at No. 10.

Ginebra then busted a lot of mock draft picks by taking Ken Holmqvist at No. 12, the last pick for the first round, and Brian Enriquez at No. 13, the first pick of the second round.

On the other hand, without a first-round selection, Blackwater made the most out of the second round by taking former Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League stars Reymark Acuno and Josh Torralba at 14th and 15th, respectively.

The Aces then pulled off a surprise of its own by taking Taylor Browne at No. 16 even as they then selected Alec Stockton at No. 21.

Franky Johnson, who was tipped as a potential first round pick in some late mock drafts, slid to the second round with the Elasto Painters taking him 17th overall, and they later selected Anton Asistio at No. 22 and Andrei Caracut at No. 23.

The Fuel Masters scored a coup by selecting Nick Demusis 18th overall and Aljun Melecio 19th overall, while the Road Warriors took David Murrell 20th overall.

Notable draftees taken after the second round include MPBL star Dhon Reverente (25th by Terrafirma), former juniors basketball star and actor Andre Paras (27th by Blackwater), Ken Mocon, the younger brother of Javee (29th by ROS), former University of the Philippines star Jun Manzo (38th by Blackwater), former University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) juniors champion Philip Manalang (50th by ROS), fellow former UAAP high school star Jerie Pingoy (52nd by Phoenix), and former Jose Rizal University stalwart Jed Mendoza (61st by NorthPort).*PNA

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April 2023

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