Stephen Holt No.1 Pick

Stephen Holt, Fil-Am Guard, Becomes Terrafirma Dyip's Top Pick in the 2023 PBA Draft

In a significant turning point for Philippine basketball, the Terrafirma Dyip selected Stephen Holt as the unquestioned first overall choice in the Season 48 PBA Rookie Draft, which took place on a Sunday in Taguig. Holt, who stands 6 feet 4 inches tall and is 6 feet 4 inches tall, attended the proceedings via video link from Portland.

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In an interview, Holt revealed his playing style, saying boldly, “I’m a two-way player.” I’m dedicated on all sides of the ball, offensive and defense. “I’m a pretty athletic player who can rebound and get to the basket.”

The Blackwater Bossing picked Ontario native Christian David, a star from Butler University, as the second choice. David’s arrival in the PBA was widely anticipated.

Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ selection of Luis Villegas, a towering 6-foot-7 big man who previously gained acclaim with the UAAP Mythical Five during his stay with the UE Red Warriors, rounded out the top three choices. Although he was out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, Villegas was seen as a beneficial addition to the Elasto Painters’ lineup.

In the fourth place, the Elasto Painters added another big guy, 6-foot-8 Keith Datu from Chico State, who had just appeared for Wilcon in the PBA 3×3 circuit.

NorthPort Batang Pier selected UP Fighting Maroons’ Zavier Lucero in the fifth round, a player recovering from an ACL injury.

Former FEU Tamaraws player Ken Tuffin was selected sixth overall by the Phoenix Super LPG. At the same time, the NLEX Road Warriors stunned many by picking New Zealand native Richie Rodger, a 6-foot-2 guard.

The Meralco Bolts selected 6-foot-9 Brandon Bates from the La Salle Green Archers with the eighth overall pick.

The Converge FiberXers used their ninth and tenth choices to choose a pair of guards, Schonny Winston from the Green Archers and sharpshooter BJ Andrade from the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

Cade Flores, a 6-foot-5 bruiser from Arellano, was selected by the Batang Pier with the 11th pick. As the first round ended, the Dyip surprised everyone by picking guard TJ Miller from Westminster University.

Notably, Foreign players dominated the first round, with all 12 choices coming from overseas origins.

The draft’s depth in frontline players was on display in the second round. At the 13th pick, the Dyip selected 6-foot-8 Kemark Carino from the San Beda Red Lions. Converge then chose UST Growling Tigers 6-foot-5 Bryan Santos, Rain or Shine chose UP Fighting Maroons 6-foot-5 Henry Galinato, and Phoenix chose Ateneo 6-foot-3 banger Raffy Verano.

According to a source, Galinato might be traded to TNT Tropang Giga in exchange for their first-round choice in the Season 50 draft.

In the second round, the Terrafirma Dyip selected Louie Sangalang from the Letran Knights with the 22nd overall pick.

Ricci Rivero, a highly regarded guard and two-time UAAP champion, was still available and finished 17th overall in the Fuel Masters. With the 23rd overall pick, Barangay Ginebra, who did not have a first-round selection, selected 3×3 player Ralph Cu from La Salle.

NLEX also chose Enoch Valdez from Lyceum to finish 18th and John Nermal from West Negros to finish 21st in the second round. Converge drafted JL Delos Santos from JRU in the 19th round, and Rain or Shine chose Adrian Nocum from Mapua in the 24th.

The PBA Rookie Draft for Season 48 displayed the league’s deep talent pool and exciting future possibilities, with rising stars and seasoned veterans eager to make their mark.


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