Race to the MVP

August 2, 2011 by  


The race to the MVP will still be decided in a couple of weeks but in the interest of probably getting people to be swayed on my idea, here are my recommendations for the MVP awardee.

By now it is said that the Mythical team will be formed by a bunch of Talk N Text players. Unlike in the NBA where the regular season is different from the playoffs, the PBA combines the two parts of the conference to give more importance to the winners. As of this moment, Talk N Text and Ginebra are the only teams with 50 and more games while Petron is hoping to catch the 50-game club.

Gary David, the league’s scoring average leader, just played 28 games this season. Talk N Text is poised to reach 60 games this season.

See the discrepancy.

Here’s a trivia on the face of the Mythical selections during grand slam seasons:

1976 – Bogs Adornado became MVP (his second) during the Crispa Redmanizers’ first grand slam while Atoy Co and Philip Cezar joined him in the Mythical Five.

1983 – Abet Guidaben became MVP of the second Crispa grand slam and again Co and Cezar joined Abet in the Mythical Five. Adornado, now playing for U-Tex, was also part of the selection.

1989 – During the 1989 San Miguel Beer grand slam, Shell’s Benjie Paras became the first and only Rookie MVP of the PBA (not counting Adornado). Despite this, Ramon Fernandez and Hector Calma became part of the Mythical Five while Elmer Reyes and Alvin Teng were part of the Mythical Ten.

1996 – Johnny Abarrientos became the MVP during Alaska’s grand slam season. Joining him in the Mythical Five were Jojo Lastimosa and Bong Hawkins. Jeffrey Cariaso, joined the Mythical Ten.

After 15 years of grand slam drought, the Tropang Texters are bent to score the plum. In individual honors though, because Talk N Text are loaded in all levels, no player really stands out in individual records.

So does this mean that just like in 1989, a player from another squad will take the MVP award to his team?

By the way:

So here it is – the best players of the current PBA season. I bet my balls you can all see their names and their faces when the Mythical selection is handed out. These players were never really injured and played to their truest form.

PHILCUP: 11.5PPG / 4.0RPG / 3.7APG / 27 GAMES
COMCUP: 10.5PPG / 3.4RPG / 3.4APG / 1.4SPG / 15 GAMES
GOVCUP: 13.3PPG / 4.3RPG / 5.3APG / 1.0SPG / 12 GAMES

WHY HE WILL WIN: Jason Castro is poised to be a star in this league. This season showed us that Castro is ready to start and make wonders for Talk N Text. Case in point: Jimmy Alapag’s injury. Alapag is an integral cog of the squad that a team can easily falter without his services. However, Castro blurred those lines and managed to make his self a virtual 12-6-6 (pts-reb-ast) player. Plus let’s not forget that Castro is tied with Alapag with most Finals MVP this season with two. Not only does he do well in the eliminations but he levels up during the Finals.
WHY HE WILL LOSE: Talk N Text is a very powerful team loaded in every position. With that said Alapag claims at least 30 minutes of playing time. The rest of the minutes in the backcourt rotation are shared by Castro, Ryan Reyes, and Larry Fonacier (and to some extent Mark Yee and Aaron Aban). Castro usually chalks in 20 to 26 minutes and those minutes just increase come the Finals. Unless Castro plays well again in the Finals and relegates Alapag in mere watcher mode, The Blur will probably settle for a mythical citation.

PHILCUP: 14.3PPG / 3.0RPG / 5.7APG / 27 GAMES
COMCUP: 13.3PPG / 3.3RPG / 5.5APG / 18 GAMES
GOVCUP: 6.0PPG / 1.8RPG / 5.0APG / 10 GAMES

WHY HE WILL WIN: Asi Taulava, Mark Cardona, and Willie Miller have since moved on but ever since, there is one constant in the TNT lineup. In the Philippine Cup Finals, he put a stop on Alex Cabagnot’s late game heroics and against Ginebra, he outplayed Mike Cortez and managed to put off the fiery upstart Rob Labagala. He has been the stabilizer of the team’s offense and his defensive skills are beyond question awesome. He can also spell difference with his fast break troika or his clutch attack. With TNT’s grand slam hopes in the works, I believe this is Jimmy Alapag’s time to win the award.
WHY HE WILL LOSE: Alapag was on the verge of winning his first MVP award when injury struck. He returned to the lineup but at this point Castro, Fonacier, and Reyes were taking over in his scoring, rebounding, assisting, and his playing time. His production decreased and it’s taking a while for him to return to his normal self. The only way he can surely win the MVP award is by making sure that Ginebra and Petron will never make the Finals.

PHILCUP: (ALASKA) 19.2PPG / 8.8RPG / 3.2APG / 1.1BPG / 17 GAMES
COMCUP: (ALASKA) 14.6PPG / 7.8RPG / 4.8APG / 1.1BPG / 12 GAMES
GOVCUP: 14.3PPG / 8.8RPG / 2.7APG / 1.3BPG / 12 GAMES

WHY HE WILL WIN: Before Alaska got eliminated in the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cup, The Speaker of the House was one of the most consistent stat-drawers in the league. This is funny, considering that Devance is disgruntled with the Aces. At the start of the Governor’s Cup, JDV was shipped to Air21 en route to B-Meg. With Kerby Raymundo out of commission, Devance played his part and made wonders in his current situation.
WHY HE WILL LOSE: Undoubtedly, he has one of the best stats in the season. However, Alaska failed to reach the semifinals of both conferences and even if B-Meg reaches the Finals in the Governor’s Cup, Devance will have it hard to win against the other frontrunners. In fact, Alapag might be rooting for either Alaska or B-Meg to advance in the finals. With that said, there is still a slim chance for Devance to win the MVP award but that is having 30 points and 15 rebounds lots of times.

PHILCUP: 15.2PPG / 9.0RPG / 1.0APG / 1.0BPG / 27 GAMES
COMCUP: 12.1PPG / 8.4RPG / 1.2APG / 1.0SPG / 1.3BPG / 9 GAMES
GOVCUP: 16.0PPG / 14.5RPG / 1.1APG / 1.1SPG / 1.6BPG / 11 GAMES

WHY HE WILL WIN: A MVP race is not as such without The Spiderman. Arwind Santos has been a monster in terms of statistical categories and this year is no different. While he played second fiddle to Jay Washington in the Philippine Cup, he broke out of being in J-Wash’s shadow especially when the latter got injured. Have you ever seen his averages in the Governor’s Cup? Santos plays more like an import than the merry-go-round of reinforcements Petron had in their lineup.
WHY HE WILL LOSE: The switch from San Miguel to Petron was excruciating for Arwind. After they scored runner-up honors, the Beermen went dead last in the Commissioner’s Cup. Talk N Text played 18 games in the Commish Cup while San Miguel had only 9. Since Talk N Text has its sights on the finals, the only way Arwind can score the MVP plum is for Petron to claim the last seat and boot Ginebra off the grid.

PHILCUP: 14.2PPG / 5.7RPG / 2.2APG / 22 GAMES
COMCUP: 15.7PPG / 5.3RPG / 2.7APG / 22 GAMES
GOVCUP: 20.3PPG / 4.2RPG / 2.1APG / 12 GAMES

WHY HE WILL WIN: Ginebra is the only team aside from Talk N Text to play in all of the semifinal series of the current season. Each and every time, Mark “The Spark” Caguioa proved to be the most vital figure of the squad. Sure he had the threat to lose his go-to-guy status to Willie Miller during the Philippine Cup but he proved time and time again why he is the current reincarnation of Robert Jaworski. The cocky shooter is bent to claim his first MVP award to push him alongside the other PBA greats. After a couple of seasons reeling inside the injury list, what better way to ship all doubts away than by winning a MVP award?
WHY HE WILL LOSE: Alapag will lose the award if he struggles in the finals. For The Spark’s sake, the person that should pick up top performance honors is him and if not Jimmy, it shouldn’t be Jason Castro. Yes, Caguioa must lead his team to a finals seat. The team that should pick up the final ticket must be Ginebra and not the Arwind Santos-led Petron or the Joe Devance-centered B-Meg.

Of course, these rankings are what I gathered from my own equation. Fact is, press votes as well as the player votes will contribute greatly on the choosing process. At this point, the two combatants of the Governor’s Cup finals will likely dictate on who will be Season 36’s MVP!

Game over.

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