AMA Online Education gave Joshua Munzon a birthday to remember after selecting the six-foot-four cager with the top pick in the 2019 PBA D-League Rookie Draft held Tuesday at the PBA office in Libis.
Munzon, who turned 24 on draft day, leads a cast of 102 players selected by eight of the record 20 teams participating in the Aspirants Cup. He saw action for two seasons for the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the ASEAN Basketball League, averaging 21.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in 54 games.
Selecting second in the first round, Marinerong Pilipino picked La Salle wingman Santi Santillan, while Go For Gold-CSB took in six-foot-nine Jeremiah Pangalangan. Che'lu Bar and Grill, picking fourth, tabbed Adamson's do-it-all forward Sean Manganti, while Wangs Basketball took in NU's Troy Rike fifth overall.
Rounding out the rest of the first round were Kristoffer Terrado (Diliman College), Christian Nidoy (Trinity University), and Jerome Villanueva (McDavid).
AMA got another blue-chip player in former La Salle point guard Kib Montalbo to start off the second round, while Marinerong Pilipino added NU slotman Matthew Aquino afterwards. The draft lasted for 20 rounds, only ending after all teams passed in the 21st.
The 12 other teams joining the Aspirants Cup are Batangas-EAC, CEU, Cignal-Ateneo, Enderun, FEU, Letran, NU, Perpetual Help, San Beda, San Sebastian, St. Clare, and UST. The Aspirants Cup opens on February 14.