Alvin Pasaol, Santi Santillan forgoing PBA Draft to focus on 3x3
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 03, 2019 04:53 PM
(Photo courtesy of Chooks Pilipinas 3x3)
Two of the top players thought to be entering the 2019 PBA Draft have withdrawn their names from consideration.
Scoring machine Alvin Pasaol and versatile Santi Santillan have both decided to skip this year's rookie selection process.
"'Di muna ako magpapa-draft this year," Pasaol, who famously scored 49 points in a single game for University of the East, said.
Santillan, who was once a key cog for De La Salle University, was of the same mind. "Yung family ko, pumayag naman silang hindi muna ako magpapa-draft," he said.
Instead, the two forwards, believed to be surefire first round picks for this year's draft, would keep showcasing their skills in 3x3.
"Kapag naglalaro ka sa 3x3, may chance ka makalaban yung best of the best sa ibang bansa kaya grabe yung commitment ko rito," Santillan said.
Pasaol could only agree. "Itutuloy ko yung campaign ko na sinimulan ko for 3x3. Tatapusin natin ito - pupunta tayo ng Olympics," he said.
Indeed, both players have been a big part of the Philippines' rise from no. 59 to no. 21 in the world rankings.
For reference, the top 24 teams in the world would be qualified for the 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Pasaol, the country's second-best player, and Santillan, ranked third, have been teammates for Wilkins Balanga (formerly Bataan) in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 and have won one championship in that breakthrough league.
The two have also figured in more than a few international competitions, representing the Filipinos in this emerging sport.
And so, for now at the very least, Pasaol and Santillan would still have their sights set on 3x3 - and the PBA Draft would have to wait.
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