33 PBA Draftees Head to Free Agency

33 PBA Draftees, Including Aurin and JLC, Transition to Free Agency

It has been revealed that 33 of the 79 brilliant players picked in the highly anticipated 2023 PBA Rookie Draft are now set to enter the realm of free agency. This development comes from a five-day grace period for PBA teams, which ended this past Friday.

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Surprisingly, the highest-drafted player, Kim Aurin (34th overall), did not get a tender offer. Due to this unexpected change of events, Aurin and Ginebra’s draft selections, Franz Abuda and Brandrey Bienes, are now unrestricted free agents free to pursue new possibilities.

Another famous PBA club, Rain or Shine, elected not to issue an offer to JC Cullar and Larry Arpia, indicating a shift in their player roster strategy.

For its part, Magnolia decided not to sign Mapua’s towering talents, Warren Bonifacio and Christian Bunag, as well as Perpetual winger Tonton Peralta.

The ranks of free agents grew when Phoenix Super LPG released John Lloyd Clemente, Daniel Atienza, Joe Gomez de Liano, and Theo Flores. This deliberate approach allows these athletes to pursue other opportunities in their basketball careers.

NLEX, a key participant in the PBA landscape, did not sign Francis Guissani and Lorenzo Navarro. At the same time, Meralco chose to release Zach Huang and Jessie Sumoda into the league’s free agency pool.

San Miguel, a PBA powerhouse, did not make an offer to Jayson Apolonio, Jayvee Dela Cruz, Jamel Ramos, or JBoy Gob. This move has significantly increased the amount of excellent players available in free agency.

Terrafirma had noteworthy roster cuts, with Kenneth Villapando, Jeric Pido, and Enrique Caunan not featured in their plans for the following season.

Northport, a team to keep an eye on, passed on signing Jan Sobrevega, Ian Herrera, Johnnel Bauzon, Joemari Lacastesantos, Nikko Paranada, and Regie Boy Basibas, perhaps allowing these players to find fresh possibilities elsewhere.

The circumstances concerning the 33rd overall choice, Patrick Maagdenberg, had a unique twist for Converge. Maagdenberg was picked in the third round by Magnolia and later traded to Converge as part of a package deal in the Abu Tratter transaction. While league rules prohibit trading picks beyond the second round, a gentleman’s agreement between the two clubs permitted this fascinating operation.

As the PBA environment evolves, the free agency market promises to provide an exciting platform for these outstanding players to exhibit their abilities and contribute to the league’s long history.


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