Philippine Basketball Association players, left unprotected by their mother teams, get a new lease on their professional careers when they enter the Dispersal Draft scheduled Friday, July 18.
The 10 PBA teams submitted to the commissioner’s office a list of 10 to 13 players in their protected list. Newcomers Blackwater Sports and Kia Motors get a crack at the players left unprotected by their mother teams.
Because of the dearth of big men in the league the new teams are expected to first go after the available big men.
Leading the players in the unprotected list is 31-year-old forward Larry Rodriguez of the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters. The 6’4″ Rodriguez was picked up by the team primarily to be a defensive stopper but has metamorphosed into a reliable inside and medium distance scorer.
Rodriguez gradually lost his minutes with the development of 6’7″ rookie Raymond Almazan and became available to the Dispersal Draft because of the deep, deep bench of the Elasto Painters.
Two-time Most Valuable Player Danny Ildefonso was also left out of the protected list by his mother team Meralco Bolts. The 37-year-old big man may be long in the tooth but provides invaluable experience to a team looking for a big man who can score inside or defend the post.
Blackwater Sports is reportedly interested in acquiring the services of Ildefonso.
Other prominent players available in the draft are talented scorer Bonbon Custodio of Barako Bull as well as first round picks in just the past PBA Draft Alex Nuyles, of Rain Or Shine, and Ryan Buenafe, of Alaska.
Also made available by their teams are Paul Artadi from the Bolts, Nic Belasco and Eddie Laure from the Aces and San Miguel Beer’s Sam Marata.
The other incoming new team NLEX will not take part in the Dispersal Draft because it entered the league by acquiring the Air21 Express franchise and not as an expansion team.
The Dispersal Draft will be held at the PBA Commissioner’s Office.
After the Dispersal Draft, Blackwater and Kia Motors can add more talent through the Annual PBA Draft next month and through free agency.
The Annual Draft will be on August 24 with all 12 PBA teams participating.