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D-League draft today

Fil-Tongan could be No. 1 pick

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Developmental League holds its 2014 Rookie Draft today at the league’s office in Libis Quezon City.

Unless Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua has other things in mind, American born Fil-Tongan Moala Tuatuaa is expected to the be the top pick in the 1 p.m. proceeding.

A total 153 aspirants including 18 Fil-foreign players have applied for the Draft. With a talent rich pool, PBA Commissioner Chito Salud expects a level playing field this season.

“Majority of the aspirants are good enough to be starters. And so I am convinced that we will have a level playing field when the Aspirants’ Cup begins next month. I am also sure that fans will enjoy watching every game,” Salud said.

Cagayan Valley holds the first round pick after finishing sixth in last season’s Aspirants’ Cup and 10th in the Foundation Cup. The No.2 pick belongs to Tanduay Light followed by CaféFrance, Cebuana Lhuillier, Jumbo Plastic, MJM M-Builders and Wangs Basketball.

The five new teams – AMA University, Bread Story, Hapee Toothpaste, MP Hotel and Racal Motorsales Corp. will complete the drafting order by way of lottery before starting the drafting process.

“Our selection depends on which player Cagayan will pick. At the moment, though, my focus is on Roi Sumang. He’s been a protégée way back when I was still coaching the UE Warriors,” said Tanduay Light coach Lawrence Chongson of the rugged 5-foot-8 guard.

Café France coach Egay Macaraya claims the Bakers are badly in need of a reliable playmaker but added he is keeping his option open.

Jaded observers consider Tuatuaa, whose mother is Filipina, a possible top pick due to his built and size. Listed as 6-foot- 7, the 25 year old Tuatuaa went undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft. He is currently making waves in the ABL while playing for the Westport Malaysia Dragons.

Also expected to be picked in the first round are 6-2 Maverick Ahanmisi, who played for University of Minnesota, Bradwyn Guinto of San Sebastian College, 6-6 Fil-Canadian Norberto Torres and 6-9 Fil-German Arnold Van Opstal and Almond Vosotros of Dela Salle University.