Jason Brickman will still be able to play in the PBA after the Meralco Bolts signed the highly-touted guard to their 3x3 team.
Brickman was stricken off the draft-eligible players in the recently-concluded PBA Rookie Draft for his failure to submit required documents in time.
The Bolts made the announcement on Friday morning, giving the talented playmaker another crack at playing in the PBA.
"We're looking forward to seeing his brand of basketball up close. He's a veteran playmaker who's proven himself internationally and we're excited to have him on board," said Bolts team manager Paolo Trillo.
Brickman was touted as one of the best point guards in the draft class after he finished his US NCAA playing career fourth all-time in assists and playing at a high level in the ASEAN Basketball League, where he played alongside Matthew Wright for Westports Malaysia Dragons.
Brickman, a heritage import, was named the ABL's Finals MVP in 2016. He eventually moved to Thailand and played for Mono Vampire, where he was teammates with Paul Zamar. He last played for Alab Pilipinas.
"I'm excited to play for the Meralco Bolts and be a part of the new PBA 3x3 league," Brickman said. "It's great to be in the Philippines again and I'm hoping that this will lead to me playing in the PBA in the future."
The inaugural 3x3 league is expected to run parallel with the regular 5x5 PBA season, as it will be held in the morning before the five-on-five contests. Sixteen teams are expected to participate. In line with FIBA guidance, eligibility requirements are less stringent for 3x3 teams.
Meanwhile, the contract of ninth overall pick of Alvin Pasaol is still being finalized, according to a team source.
On the other hand, Brickman's Alab teammate Jeremiah Gray was picked up by the TNT Tropang Giga for their 3x3 team, according to team manager Gabby Cui.
"We signed Jeremiah Gray to a one-year contract for the PBA 3x3 inaugural season. We would like to welcome Jeremiah to TNT Tropang Giga 3x3. We are excited to have him on board," said Cui in a statement.
Gray was also pegged as a first-round selection but was also unable to submit his papers. He first burst into the Philippine basketball scene when he suited up for Mighty Sports Philippines in 2019, when they won the bronze medal in the Dubai International Basketball Championship.
With additional reporting from Richard Dy.