PBA Esports Bakbakan Draft features Ginebra with famous streamer 'Akosi Dogie' as its first pick

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Philippine Basketball Association and the Dark League Studios have formally formed a historic relationship through the PBA 'Esports Bakbakan', which will begin play this March 2023, with the aim of bridging the gap between traditional sports and the rapidly expanding esports industry. As the highlight of the events' draft, one of the most well-known gamers in the nation is performing for the most well-known basketball team in the nation.

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The first PBA Esports Bakbakan Draft was held on February 13, 2023 at Robinsons Place Manila, where the well-renowned Mobile Legends streamer 'Akosi Dogie' made history by being selected first overall. As soon as the draft order was made public, Barangay Ginebra put it into action by selecting the well-known vlogger and tech enthusiast Naser Ignacio Mollazehi as the first pick.

Big man Christian Standhardinger made the opening announcement, "With our first draft pick, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel picks Akosi Dogie." Later on, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial joined Akosi Dogie on stage, where Alfrancis Chua, Rayboy Rodriguez, and Standhardinger gave him his trademark Ginebra jacket.

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On the other hand, TNT also didn't waste time getting its turn on the podium as it selected Billy ‘Z4pnu’ Alfonso as the second over all pick, while Eric ‘Eruption’ Tai gets selected by the Magnolia Hotshots as the 3rd overall pick. Meanwhile, attractive influencer Lhea Bernardinho was selected fourth overall by Terrafirma Dyip, making her the first female player ever selected in PBA Esports history, and Edgar "ChooxTV" Dumali was selected fifth overall by Blackwater.

Other first-round pick in the draft are as follows:
  • 6th overall pick - Renz ‘Pein’ Reyes (NLEX Road Warriors)
  • 7th overall pick - Honda Beast (Phoenix Fuel Masters)
  • 8th overall pick - Yuri Gaming (Northport Batang Pier)
  • 9th overall pick - Mico ‘Coco’ Sampang (Meralco Bolts)
  • 10th overall pick - Okata (Rain or Shine Elasto Painters)
  • 11th overall pick - Raven “L3bron” Alonzo (Converge FiberXers)
  • 12th overall pick - Elyson ‘Ghost Wrecker’ Caranza (San Miguel Beermen)
Marcial welcomed the draft hopefuls at the three-hour event, which was also attended by Dark League Studios CEO AC Valdenor and program director Mark Chua. Team governors, including Terrafirma vice chairman Bobby Rosales, officials, and players all joined Marcial in welcoming the participants.

“PBA at Esports, dalawang magkaibang liga, dalawang magkaibang sports. Parehong layunin, mapasikat, mapalakas, at mapagsama ang dalawang sports na ito. Kasama ng PBA Esports ang Dark League Studios, makasaysayan ang gagawin nating ito na magsanib puwersa ang dalawang sports – basketball at Esports. Kaya magsama-sama tayo at magtulung-tulong,” said Marcial in his short speech.

Meanwhile, the second round picks among influncers consisted of the following:
  • Sainty (Ginebra)
  • King Jasro (TNT)
  • Mage Dad Yuji (Magnolia)
  • Chin Valdez (Terrafirma)
  • Coach Tres (Blackwater)
  • Elanorm (NLEX)
  • Kimberlee Si Arcillas (Phoenix)
  • Thirdy Gaming (NorthPort)
  • Onefifti (Meralco)
  • Wagner Gaming (Rain or Shine)
  • Totoy (Converge)
  • Hypebits (San Miguel)
Academe members picked in the third round consisted of the following:
  • Aaron Pascual of PUP (Barangay Ginebra)
  • Nathaniel Teodoro of UST (TNT)
  • Marius Miguel Pedrealba of UST (Terrafirma)
  • Eugene Dela Cruz of Ateneo (Blackwater)
  • Sean Jacob See of Ateneo (Rain or Shine)
  • Joseph Brylle Geronimo of University of the Philippines (Magnolia)
  • David Lawrrenz Sanejo of University of the Philippines (NLEX)
  • Kin Calvin Martinez of University of the Philippines (Converge)
  • Jayvee Buenviaje of Adamson (Meralco)
  • Cristian Rio Pingkian of Adamson (San Miguel)
  • Christian Alec San Diego of Letran (Phoenix)
  • Christian Antonio Dreyfus of La Salle (NorthPort)
The fourth round pick, comprised of fans, consists of the following:
  • Anton Cabrilles, Lance Aaron Misa, and Gellert Pangilinan (Ginebra)
  • Aaren Palomo, Reginald Agustin, and Bryan Bollas (TNT)
  • Christian Aaron Endonilla, Ronel Garcia, and Aaron Transmontero (Magnolia)
  • Jason Ubalde, Prince Zeus Destacamento, Alex Vitaliano (Terrafirma)
  • Brent Louis Castandiello, Joshua Ocampo, Allen Hanz Cacas (Blackwater)
  • Ryan Nazir Coronel, Prince Tesorero, John Albert Guevarra (NLEX)
  • RJ Acbayan, Charles Justin Taruc, Joshua Mikhail Cruz (Phoenix)
  • Vince Remjohn Batarlo, Mike Gonzales, Lawrence Pingol (Northport)
  • Benjie Sarcia, Jayson Caratao, Ric Cainhog Jr (Meralco)
  • Jieo Capatan, John Carlo Coronado, Soviet Raven Saludes (Rain or Shine)
  • Amanda Del Mar, Jonmark Tria, Sid Sanchez (Converge)
  • Noli John Macasa, Omar Miguel Roldan, Sean Tyrone Aman (San Miguel)
The first season, which will begin in March, can now see all 12 teams start to prepare. Those who were not selected in the draft, however, are already guaranteed selection in Season 2 of the meet.
 

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