|Despite all the trials he faced, Jerie Pingoy gets a shot at PBA glory. PBA Images (file photo)|
MANILA--Jerie Pingoy went into tears when his name was announced as a PBA draftee on Sunday night.
Following what has been a rocky collegiate career, the point guard's selection in the fifth round of the draft came as a blessing for him.
Phoenix took Pingoy, a former high school star for FEU Diliman, with the 52nd overall pick of the draft.
Pingoy's potentially stellar career took a huge twist when the UAAP introduced a rule requiring the league's juniors players to sit out two seasons should they decide to play at a different member school for the seniors division after he chose Ateneo as his college destination.
Pingoy's stint with Blue Eagles was short lived due to academic problems, prompting him to transfer to Adamson, which was also a short stint.
Looking to prove that he still has game, he joined Centro Escolar University's PBA D-League team carrying the name Karate Kid last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the season cancellation, putting his career at jeopardy.
So his draft selection was a major breakthrough even as he now tries to crack into the Fuel Masters' lineup led by Coach Topex Robinson, who was also a fifth round pick in 2001.
On the other hand, the fifth round still had some star power in it as Rain Or Shine took Philip Manalang with the 50th overall pick.
Manalang was a member of the Nazareth School of National University team that won multiple UAAP juniors titles in the early 2010's while he was also one of the University of the East's key players later in the decade.
Manalang is currently in Olongapo for the MPBL bubble there, but he is currently in a waiting game as he and the rest of the Basilan Steel were placed on isolation after the discovery of two suspected COVID-19 cases.
The league is expected to decide on Basilan's fate by Wednesday before they are scheduled to face Davao Occidental in Game 3 of the South Division Finals.
Meanwhile, Terrafirma opened the fifth round by drafting Nico Custodio 46th overall, while NorthPort selected Carl Ravanes at 47th.
Blackwater picked Kim Bayquin at 48th, NLEX went for Joseph Alcantara at 49th, San Miguel selected Greg Flor at 51, and TNT drafted Martin Gozum at 53rd to round out Round 5.
Magnolia and Meralco opted to pass in the said round.
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