NINE young and talented players from the Millennium Basketball League, led by surprise No. 6 pick Robbie Herndon and No. 8 Sidney Onwubere, were drafted in this year’s PBA Rookie Draft held last Sunday at Robinson’s Place Manila.
MBL chairman Alex Wang congratulated all nine players for being selected during the well-attended annual draft aimed at bringing fresh talents and new faces to Asia’s first play-for-pay league.
The players are expected to be signed by their respective PBA teams within the next few days.
“I congratulate all the new players taken in during the annual PBA Draft, especially the nine players, who have also played in the MBL,” said Wang, also team manager of PBA D-League member Wang’s Ballclub. Leading the nine new PBA players from MBL is Herndon, the 6’3” Fil-American sensation selected No. 6 overall by Globalport before being traded to Star on the same day.
Also selected in the first round was Onwubere, the 6’3” small forward from Emilio Aguinaldo College, who was taken in at No. 8 by Phoenix.
Another notable first-round selection was Jonjon Gabriel, who teamed up with African Soulemane Chabi Yo to lead Colegio de San Lorenzo to the 2017 MBL Open title last June.
Considered as one of the sleepers in the draft, the 6-6 native of Tarlac was picked at No. 11 by Talk N Text.
The other PBA rookies with MBL experience are Joseph Gabayni (Lyceum), Louie Vigil (University of Santo Tomas), Jayson Grimaldo (Victoria Sports-MLQU), Chris de Chavez (Wang’s Ballclub), Michael Juico (Wang’s Ballclub) and Felix Apreku (Philippine Christian University).
Gabayni was selected by Star at No. 14 but was traded to Globalport; Vigil was chosen at No. 17 by San Miguel Beer; Grimaldo was picked at No. 21 by Phoenix; De Chavez was acquired at No. 25 by Kia; Juico was taken in at No. 31 by Rain or Shine and Apreku was picked at No. 38 by NLEX.