PVL sets guidelines for first rookie draft
‘GREAT EQUALIZER’

PVL sets guidelines for first rookie draft

A shot of the crowd during the PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals between Creamline Cool Smashers and Choco Mucho Flying Titans

A shot of the crowd during the PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals between Creamline Cool Smashers and Choco Mucho Flying Titans. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

After a lot of planning and negotiations in a bid to make the field more competitive, the PVL has finalized the first-ever Rookie Draft.

“Drafts are the great equalizer in pro leagues. This season, we will hold our first-ever Draft with guidelines influenced by some of the top leagues in the world,” said PVL commissioner Sherwin Malonzo in a statement released to the media.

Fresh talents dreaming to turn pro will have to go through the Draft slated on June 25 and June 26, a landmark move by the league to prevent teams from accumulating a glut of talent through direct hiring.

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The order of selection by teams in the Draft will be determined by lottery proceedings for the first round while in the succeeding rounds, the reverse order of the standings in the recently concluded All-Filipino Conference will be the basis.

Teams ranked 8th to 1st in the last conference will pick fifth to 12th in descending order.

Creamline bagged its fourth consecutive All-Filipino title and eighth overall championship in that conference after sweeping its Finals series against Choco Mucho, which wound up with the silver for the second consecutive conference. Petro Gazz finished third.

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Before the start of that conference, the Angels signed during the offseason Filipino-American spiker Brooke van Sickle, who became the conference MVP.

After those top teams, Chery Tiggo (9-2, win-loss) follows before PLDT (8-3), Cignal (7-4), sister teams Akari (5-6) and Nxled (4-7), Farm Fresh (3-8), Galeries Tower (3-8) and league neophytes Capital 1 (1-10) and Strong Group (0-11).

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With the lottery in place, the league aims to discourage tanking or teams deliberately losing games for a chance to secure higher draft picks and a better chance to sign highly touted prospect.

There have been speculations that National University’s Alyssa Solomon and Bella Belen, UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball champions, will turn pro although the two have stated that they have yet to make that decision.

“I haven’t thought about that yet,” Finals MVP Solomon said. “My focus was on the UAAP only and [I haven’t thought about] the PVL.”

“It’s possible [that I will return],” Belen, the two-time league MVP said. “Who wouldn’t want to be part of a team like this that keeps fighting?”

Strong Group will have a 40-percent chance of nabbing the first pick in the lottery scheduled to take place on June 24, followed by Capital1 (30 percent), Galeries Tower (20 percent), and Farm Fresh (10 percent).

“We are hoping for a huge turnout for the inaugural class of the PVL draft. This is an exciting moment for our league as we take a significant step forward in elevating the level of competition and providing more opportunities for talented athletes,” said Malonzo. “We look forward to seeing the new talent that will emerge and make their mark in the PVL.”

Players wishing to enter the draft have to be at least 21 years old by the end of this year, with or without experience playing for colleges or universities. For Filipinos born or raised—or both— abroad, they must secure a Philippine passport before the May 31 deadline or submit a birth certificate issued by the country.

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A two-day mandatory Rookie Draft Combine will also be held prior to the Draft for the applicants’ measures to be recorded, to have medical tests, interviews, athletic tests and scrimmages that can boost their chances to be selected.

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