Gilas Cadet Jaydee Tungcab latest to join PBA draft

Jaydee Tungcab has been with the Gilas Cadets pool since last year. Ernie Sarmiento

Gilas Pilipinas cadet Jaydee Tungcab is set to make the jump to the pros after submitting his application for the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft.

The former University of the Philippines forward, who was reportedly on his way to Japanese B.League Division II team Koshigaya Alphas, will instead be the latest name in a deep draft to be held on Mar. 14.

"Yes, Jaydee Tungcab expressed his desire to join the PBA Draft," Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) special assistant to the president Ryan Gregorio said in a text message.

After a quiet final season that saw him average 2.9 points and 1.6 rebounds in just 10 minutes of action as a defensive stopper for the Fighting Maroons in Season 82, Tungcab drew a surprise call-up from Gilas Pilipinas for the training pool of the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.

Tungcab, who also played for Batangas the MPBL and was drafted by CEU in the cancelled D-League season, made his Gilas debut in the second window of the tournament last November and played 10 minutes during a 93-69 drubbing of Thailand.

"Entering the PBA is his best course of action. We fully support his decision in making himself eligible in this year's PBA draft," said Gregorio.

The 23-year-old forward, listed at 6'4", was supposed to be the second Filipino to play in the B.League and already asked permission from the SBP to leave the pool, but the coronavirus pandemic situation in Japan prevented foreigners from entering the country, leaving Tungcab on the outside looking in.

UP head coach Bo Perasol, meanwhile, said his former ward has the tools to succeed in the pros.

"Jaydee has what it takes to make it good in the PBA - talent, skills, athleticism, and most important his being coachable," he said in a text message Monday. "He is a very good teammate as well."