Photo from UAAP

It’s crunch time for those contemplating on whether to take the leap towards the big league with the deadline for submission of application to the PBA Rookie Draft slated Saturday, May 7.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said about 48 players have already applied for the annual proceedings slated May 15 at Robinsons Place Manila, with a few more expected to throw their names before the 5 p.m. deadline.

The PBA actually extended its deadline from the original May 2 date in order to give more time for UAAP players who are interested to join the draft.

But the UAAP recently relaxed its rules in order to allow players to enter the draft while the ongoing Season 97 tournament is ongoing.

UAAP rules only allow players to join the proceedings only after the season has concluded.

La Salle’s Justine Baltazar, whose UAAP career ended when his team lost to the University of the Philippines in the Final Four, could file his application before the deadline unless there are concrete plans for him to play overseas.

Among the prominent names who are joining the draft are PBA 3×3 standouts Brandon Rosser and Encho Serrano, NCAA star Justin Arana and Fil-foreigners Jeremiah Gray and Sedrick Barefield.

Blackwater holds the top pick in the draft, with Terrafirma owning the second pick while Converge, which recently bought Alaska franchise, will select third and fourth (originally from Phoenix Super LPG).

Picking fifth is Rain or Shine, followed by NorthPort, NLEX, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Blackwater (from San Miguel Beer through TNT), Rain or Shine (from Meralco), Blackwater (from TNT) and Magnolia Pambansang Manok.

Source: Manila Bulletin (