39th PBA rookie draft unfolds in Manila today

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BARANGAY Ginebra is expected to pick 6’11 Greg Slaughter as No. 1 overall in today’s 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Annual Rookie Draft starting at 4 p.m. at the Robinson’s Place in Ermita, Manila.

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The Gin Kings, who owned the right for the No. 1 pick via an earlier trade with Air 21, expressed interest on the former Gilas Pilipinas mainstay Slaughter. Coach Ato Agustin hopes both Slaughter and 6’9 Japeth Aguilar could help the Kings end their five-year title drought. They last won a championship crown during the 2008 Fiesta Cup.

After Ginebra, the next to pick is recent Governor’s Cup champion San Mig Coffee, which is also expected to get 6’7 former National Collegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Player Ian Sangalang while Rain or Shine, the third to pick has already announced its interest on 6’7 Letran center Raymund Almazan.

From the original 85 applicants, the roster was reduced to 79 hopefuls following the withdrawal of two and the removal of four others after failing to attend the mandatory rookie biometrics.

PBA Commissioner Chito Salud will lead the proceedings with new board chairman Ramon Segismundo of Meralco.

Barako Bull has the right for picks No. 4, 5 and 6, but reports said that the Energy Cola squad is keen on trading their rights for Dylan Ababou (Ginebra), Magi Sison and Mark Isip (Petron) and Dinok Miranda (Globalport) respectively. The PBA Commissioner’s office, however, has not yet confirmed the deal.

Globalport is No. 7, Alaska no. 8 and Rain or Shine No. 9. San Mig Coffee concludes the first round at No. 10. Petron, Air21, Meralco, and defending Philippine Cup champion Talk ‘N Text have no first round picks because of earlier trades.

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