We are several weeks away from the annual PBA Draft to be held on August 19, 2007 at Market Market. Once again, the dreams of 47 hopefuls shall be put to the test. It is interesting to know who among these players shall step into the pro league, thus turning their dreams to reality.

This year’s pool of draftees is particularly interesting since a lot of notable homegrown players are in it. Except for Fil-Ams Ryan Reyes of Henkel Sista and Joe Devance of Toyota Otis, all of the other prospective PBA stars come from the collegiate ranks, as well as from the PBL. The likes of Samigue Eman, Ken Bono, JC Intal, Marvin Cruz, etc. are expected to figure prominently among the top choices of the 8 PBA teams.

Perhaps the biggest news items that hit the papers recently about the upcoming PBA draft are those pertaining to Jojo Duncil of the UST Growling Tigers and back-to-back MVP of the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) Jason Castro of the PCU Dolphins. Both players don the colors of PBL champion team Harbour Center. Duncil has opted to forego his last year of eligibility with the UST Growling Tigers to try his luck in the PBA. This story dragged on in the papers. Actually, the Duncil controversy continues to gain the most traffic in my blog. A more interesting twist was featured last weekend in the Philippine Star, when UST even appealed to the UAAP Board if they could bring back Duncil into their line-up, to beef up their roster, after a very slow start in the early going of the UAAP. The Board denied the appeal. So Duncil is really off to the Big League.

Castro, however, took a different route. He forewent his chance this year to join the pros, and chose to play for the country in the SEA Games this December. He also expressed intent to rejoin the PCU Dolphins in Season 84 of the NCAA when the Dolphins come back from a one year suspension. He is also expected to help Harbour Centre to defend its crown in the PBL for an unprecedented fourth straight title. A busy off-season for Castro indeed…

This is an interesting development for both the lives of these young players. One moving on, the other one, stepping back.

To all the others who are about to take the plunge into the PBA, especially to our dear Yousif Aljamal, Alex Angeles and Jeff Bombeo of the San Beda Red Lions, the best of luck to you all!


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