2019 PBA Draft to feature 'Gilas Cadets round'

These five players are the latest members of the Gilas Cadets. Nikki Collantes
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANDALUYONG—In a huge plot twist, this year's PBA Draft will have a special Gilas Cadets round.

On Monday, the PBA board of governors unanimously moved to hold the said special draft during the drafting event on Sunday at Robinson's Place Manila Atrium, but the development was only announced on Thursday, right on the first day of the Draft Combine.

Unlike the last time a "Gilas Draft" happened in 2016, in which an entire round was dedicated for those who were already in the cadets pool then, this year's national team round will only last for five picks, and this will involve only those who were just named to the cadets pool.

SBP named the five players who will be part of the Gilas Draft as Ateneo's Isaac Go and Matt and Mike Nieto, Basilan Steel's Allyn Bulanadi, and Batangas City Athletic Rey Suerte.

Go and Matt Nieto were already named to the cadets pool last year, and since they both declared for the draft already, they were inserted to the Gilas round.

On the other hand, the inclusion of Mike Nieto, Bulanadi, and Suerte in the special round essentially made them the new additions to the cadets pool.

The drafting in the Gilas round will follow the order of the first five picks of the regular draft, which means Columbian will take the first selection of the Gilas draft, Blackwater will be second, NLEX will be third, Alaska will be fourth, and Rain Or Shine will be fifth.

This essentially means that the Dyip, who also own the 12th pick of the regular draft which will now become the 17th overall, and the Elasto Painters, who also have the sixth pick of the regular draft and 11th overall, will now have three first rounders, while the others have two first rounders each.

However, Go, Bulanadi, Suerte, and the Nieto Twins will remain with the Gilas cadets for the meantime or at most until the conclusion of the 2023 FIBA World Cup unless the SBP will release either of them to the teams that will select them.

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