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Cruz joins PBA draft

Carl Bryan Cruz, a part of the Gilas cadet team that competed in the recent FIBA Asia Challenge in Iran, led a host of early applicants for the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft slated Oct. 30.

Mapua’s Joseph Eriobu and Jessie Saitanan. St. Clare College’s Raymond Jamito and Jayson Ibay, UE’s Jairold Flores and Erwin Duran and 10 others have also made themselves available for the draft exercise ahead of the application deadline at 5 p.m. on Oct. 14.

The top pick in the 2016 Draft belongs to the Blackwater Elite.

Phoenix Petroleum is No. 2 with the draft rights the team earned from a previous trade deal with Star.

Third is Barangay Ginebra (from Phoenix), followed by Mahindra, Star (from GlobalPort), San Miguel Beer (from NLEX), Meralco, NLEX (from TNT KaTropa), Rain or Shine, Ginebra, Alaska and Phoenix (from San Miguel) to round out the first round.

Draft order in the second round is NLEX (from Blackwater), Rain or Shine (from Star), GlobalPort (from Phoenix), Meralco (from Mahindra), Alaska (from Globalport), Rain or Shine (from NLEX), GlobalPort (from Meralco), Phoenix (from TNT), Rain or Shine, Mahindra (from Ginebra), Alaska and Phoenix (from San Miguel).

Still being finalized is the plan to conduct a split draft, meaning two separate pools of rookie applicants with the 12 pro teams choosing from one batch of 12 Gilas players and one group of all other aspirants.

PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa said some kinks are being ironed out in the draft mechanics as it will be the first time ever to involve two pools of players.