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Escandor, Mitchell, Payawal join 2024 PBA Draft

A trio of quality wingmen have made themselves eligible for the 2024 PBA Draft in July, ALL-STAR Magazine has learned.

According to Espiritu Manotoc Basketball Management, their players Francis Escandor, DJ Mitchell, and CJ Payawal plan to declare for this year’s draft, providing the pro league with fresh blood and exciting talent to compete over the next few years. Their paperwork is close to being finalized.

Escandor blossomed in his final season at DLSU under the guidance of Topex Robinson, culminating with a monumental game two performance in the finals against UP to keep the Green Archers alive in the hunt for the men’s basketball title which they ultimately won a few days later.

RELATED: Patience pays off: Francis Escandor’s basketball journey

Mitchell played with Hatford in the NCAA (US) Division I conference and got to experience an NCAA tournament appearance through March Madness. He was supposed to play for the Green Archers in UAAP Season 86 but couldn’t due to a back injury. He’s now healthy, suiting up for the Manila Stars along with Escandor.

Payawal, a product of Fil-Nation Select’s developmental program, suited up for St Xavier in the NAIA (US) tournament before coming to the Philippines. He was a two-and-through recruit for UE in Season 85 before joining Manila Chooks in FIBA 3X3 contests. He’s been playing as of late with Valenzuela in the MPBL.

All three aforementioned hopefuls are capable long-range gunners.

Escandor has big-game experience and knows how to fit himself in a role that will be helpful for a team. Mitchell is a natural off-ball scorer but can also create as the primary playmaker. Payawal’s size, 6-foot-5, and athleticism make him an enticing 3-and-D pro prospect.

The recently-crowned UAAP champion is averaging just 6 markers and 30% from deep in 24 minutes a game with Manila, but has been better as of late, notching 19 points build on 5-of-6 shooting from long range in a win against Quezon City.

Mitchell is at 9 points on 24 minutes a game but is converting 40% of his long-range bombs while also contributing 3.5 boards, 1.9 dimes, and 1.1 swipes a game.

Payawal is putting up efficient numbers: 10.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 54% FG, and 34% 3-point shooting in just 18.6 minutes a game.

Interested applicants have until July 4 to submit their names for the PBA Draft.

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