From being an entertainment personality, his name is now dragged to sports, as television and movie actor Daniel Padilla was picked by AMA at the 2014 PBAD-League Rookie draft held Monday at the league’s office in Libis, Quezon City.
The 19-year-old ABS-CBN talent was selected 10th pick in the 15th round by the AMA Titans to end the event. He was also the lone drafted player in the 15th round after the league’s 11 other teams passed up.
The PBA press report also said that Padilla was a protected pick by the school-based squad, with a rule allowing to directly recruit students from the school.
Upon hearing the news, naysayers mistakenly thought it was just another athlete who carried the actor’s namesake. The news immediately trended in social media, sparking opinions from fans and spectators from both entertainment and sporting world.
The teen heartthrob’s eligibility overshadowed the overall news about the PBA D-League draft where the Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa was drafted the first overall pick.
Tournament director Eric Castro confirmed his eligibility.
“Yes, it’s legit. He’s eligible to play because he is a student of the school,” said Castro.
However, he reiterated that Padilla wasn’t even part of the pool of this year’s draft applicants. Despite this, he told ABS-CBN News that “AMA invoked its right as a school-based team to sign a player who is enrolled in its school even though he didn’t apply for the draft.”
Should Padilla play the sport, he will become the second popular actor to play in the developmental league after fellow movie and TV personality Gerald Anderson.
The surprised Padilla denies the claim.
“Siyempre po gusto ko maglaro for PBA, pero hindi po totoo ang balita,” Padilla said in a text message sent to ABS-CBN.
The AMA Titans was one of the five new teams in the developmental league of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA D-League).