Deep class awaits at 2023 PBA Draft

FILE-La Salle guard Schonny Winston during a game against NU in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A total of 124 aspirants will hope to hear their names called on Sunday in the 2023 PBA Draft at Market! Market! in Taguig.

The PBA on Friday released the official list of draft applicants which consists of players from the NCAA, UAAP or players with foreign descent in their X account.

Season 85 champions BJ Andrade and Matthew Daves from Ateneo alongside La Salle standout Schonny Winston headlined the list of players from the UAAP.

John Lloyd Clemente from National University, Sherwin Concepcion from University of Santo Tomas, Henry Galinato, Zavier Lucero and Ricci Rivero of the University of the Philippines and Ken Tuffin of Far Eastern University are also included in the list of PBA aspirants from the UAAP.

The NCAA has no shortage of representation either.

King Caralipio, Tommy Olivario, Brent Paraiso, Louie Sangalang and Fran Yu, who helped Letran to a historic three-peat in NCAA Season 98, look to continue their winning ways in the professional league.

James Kwekuteye San Beda NCAA Season 98

FILE-San Beda’s James Kwekuteye. NCAA PHOTO

JC Cullar of last season’s finalist College of St. Benilde, also declared for the draft. San Beda products JB Bahio, James Kwekuteye and Kemark Cariño will also hope to get selected.

Perpetual Help’s Kim Aurin, Mapua’s Warren Bonifacio and Adrian Nocum, Arellano’s Cade Flores and Shane Menina, Lyceum’s Enoch Valdez and San Sebastian’s Rhinwil Yambing also threw their names in the hat.

But of all the aspirants, Fil-American guard Stephen Holt has the most impressive resume.

The 6-foot-4 Holt had stints in the NBA G League and the Summer League with the Atlanta Hawks after going undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Holt, 31, also played in Australia and Europe and his experience is another reason why he could go No. 1 in the PBA Draft, which has Terrafirma selecting first.

A surprising name on the list is John Amores from Jose Rizal University. 

Amores is best known for running amok in an NCAA game last season that got him an indefinite ban.

Blackwater goes second while Rain or Shine has the third and fourth picks. NorthPort follows at fifth.

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