NLEX gets 4th pick, Phoenix gets Mallari, Marcelo in pre-draft swap

Abu Tratter is projected as the number four pick of this year's draft. Denver Lachica (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--With two days left before the Philippine Basketball Association Draft, a high pick goes elsewhere.

NLEX acquired the fourth overall pick of the draft after a trade with Phoenix.

The Road Warriors announced in their social media account on Friday that PBA commissioner Willie Marcial approved the said swap.

In the trade, NLEX will get the number four pick, while Phoenix will take Alex Mallari and Dave Marcelo.

Many project former La Salle and Marinerong Pilipino big man and current Gilas Cadet Abu Tratter as the fourth pick being the best big man in this year's draft class.

The Road Warriors now have two first round picks in Sunday's draft as they also own the seventh pick, which is really their own.

On the other hand, the Fuel Masters will now have to wait until the 12th pick, the last for the first round, to get their turn in drafting a rookie, but they have two tested veterans in swingman Mallari and hardworking big man Marcelo.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno