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Prospective sleeper in PBA Rookie Draft fails to meet deadline

August 18, 2010 5:42pm

A prospective sleeper in the coming Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Annual Rookie Draft failed to beat the deadline of submission of documents for Fil-Am rookie applicants.

Mark Jeffries, who won a slam dunk contest in the US collegiate ranks, will not be joining this year's batch of newcomers after failing to secure confirmation from the Department of Justice, according to the PBA Office.

Jeffries, a 6-foot-5 wing man, who played for Mesa College in the US, is being eyed by several teams picking high in the draft.

One of the squads which expressed interest in drafting Jeffries is Rain or Shine, which is picking No.5 in the Rookie Draft.

"I saw some of his clips on YouTube and I was impressed," said Rain or Shine co-owner Raymond Yu. "That's the reason why we're making reservations for him in the draft."

Jeffries' agent is Caloy Allado, the father of B-Meg Derby Ace's Don Carlos Allado. The Fil-Ams were given until Monday to secure their documents that will make them eligible to play in the pro league.

At the last minute, Jeffries, along with several other Fil-foreign players like Gabriel Weinstein and John Smith, submitted their respective documents.

But Jeffries only submitted a Philippine passport, while Weinstein and Smith completed their papers by securing DOJ confirmation.

A total of 66 aspirants have joined Friday's Rookie Camp, 11 of them are Fil-foreign players. Among the notable Fil-foreign players include Josh Vanlandingham of Everett Community College, who played for Hapee Toothpaste in the Philippine Basketball League.

The 26-year old forward easily made a connection among local hoop fans because he happens to be the great grandson of Filipino Olympic swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso, who won the bronze medals in the 1928 and 1932 Games.

Day One of the Rookie Camp will be held at the Club 650 Gym in Libis, Quezon City from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will dwell mainly on physical test and drills.

The next six days of the camp will focus on the playing ability of the PBA aspirants, who will be divided into four teams and play a single-round elimination highlighted by a mini-championship game on Aug. 26. All games will take place at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Possible draft prospects among the local hopefuls are former UAAP MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini, NCAA counterpart John Wilson, Nonoy Baclao, Ford Arao, Jai Reyes, slam dunk king Elmer Espiritu, Jimbo Aquino, Marvin Hayes, Khazim Mirza, Rey Guevarra and RJ Jazul.

Those who will not attend the Rookie Camp will not be included in the candidates' list for the Annual Rookie Draft set on Aug. 29 at the Market! Market! Place in Taguig City.

Air21 owns the right for the No. 1 draft pick. - JVP, GMANews.TV
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