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Former 3x3 stars, ex-Alab players set to join PBA draft

With the PBA now opening its applications for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft, numerous players have already expressed their intention of making themselves available for the annual affair.

Since the league opened its doors on Dec. 7, no cager has submitted a formal application yet, according to Mauro Bengua, PBA operations officer. But at least 12 players intend to join the upcoming draft, as confirmed by their agents to ESPN5.com.

Several big stars from the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league are set to jump ship to the PBA, according to their agent Marvin Espiritu of Espiritu Manotoc Basketball Management.

Among those are swingman Alvin Pasaol, forward Santi Santillan, center Troy Rike, and guard Franky Johnson.

The four have emerged to become the country's best in this emerging popular variant of basketball, which is set to be played in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics next year. The country was able to punch a ticket to the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament set to be held in Graz, Austria on May 26-30, 2021.

Also intending to try their luck in the PBA are former DLSU player Josh Torralba and former Ateneo backup guard Anton Asistio, according to Espiritu.

Torralba most recently played in the MPBL for the Makati squad, while Asistio played inside the Laguna bubble of the Chooks pro circuit for Bacolod.

They will also be joined by the country's top-ranked 3x3 player Joshua Munzon, who also left Chooks to play in the PBA, according to the league's announcement several weeks back.

Amidst the uncertainty of the staging of the 2021 season of the ASEAN Basketball League, three standouts from Alab Pilipinas are set to make their jump to the PBA, according to team owner Charlie Dy.

Guard Andrei Caracut, Fil-Australian Jordan Heading, and forward Tzaddy Rangel are set to hand in their applications over the next few weeks.

Caracut was the skipper for the DLSU Green Archers squad in UAAP Season 82 before heading to the regional basketball league as a reserve guard. Heading, meanwhile, is a 6'2 guard who played for the Batang Gilas in the 2011 FIBA-Asia U-16 tourney. Rangel played for the NU Bulldogs last season.

Moreover, Fil-German Max Duran-Hentschel will also be trying his luck in the PBA. The son of former UST women's basketball player Bridgitte, Duran-Hentschel stands 6'4" and graduated with a master's degree from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Former San Beda center Jun Bonsubre is also looking to join the fray after having last played in the MPBL.

In addition, two of Caracut's former La Salle teammates, swingman Jamie Malonzo and center James Laput, will also be applying for the draft, according to their agency, Titan Management Group.

Malonzo, who was a one-and-done for La Salle, was one of the major contributors for the squad, norming 15.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in his lone season.

His teammate, 6'10" Laput, was only able to play seven games in his lone season for DLSU, having suffered a back injury that ended his collegiate run.

Laput was then able to play in the PBA D-League, and last played for Porac in the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 bubble last October.

Player wishing to join have until Jan. 27 to submit their applications. The draft is scheduled on March 14, 2021.