ABL Power Rankings: Familiar face on top

March 4, 2012 by  

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I think it’s about time for me to do an ABL Power Rankings. Their website has flaws but for some insane reason, the ABL site is meatier than the PBA website.

Hey PBA… here’s a thought – let me write for you!!!

Anyway, I’m getting the feeling that Junmar Fajardo is NOT the San Miguel Beermen’s go to guy. The guy is an odds-on favorite to win top pick status but he is finding it hard facing up against the imports. When he applies in the draft he needs to hone on his offense. Fajardo can easily be the next Marlou Aquino (the inspired version) or… the next EJ Feihl.

Come to think of it, Aldrech Ramos has failed to deliver the goods for the Patriots as well.

The difference between Fajardo and Ramos though is that Ramos has seen PBA action and responded properly as part of Smart-Gilas.

I think there are three players who used the ABL to bolster their chances in the PBA. Before the applied for the rookie draft, the Philippine Patriots’ Nonoy Baclao, Elmer Espiritu, and Val Acuna used their stint to successfully get their selves drafted in the PBA.

They did well after… right?

Others that also used the stint to no avail are the UE duo of Toti Bandaying and Rudy Lingganay. Pari Llagas was drafted by Purefoods in the 2010 Draft but failed to make the roster and found his self playing for the Patriots. Bandaying is now with D-League’s Boracay Rhum while Lingganay has started his PBA journey with the Powerade Tigers.

In the current ABL season, there are 41 Filipinos playing with two of them playing in the PBA just a conference ago. Barako Bull’s Leo Avenido and B-Meg’s John Ferriols are now playing for the San Miguel Beermen. Almost half of this 41 are playing as imports for their respective ABL teams. This stat tells you that in Southeast Asia, we are still the best in basketball.

Anyway, from day one here are the top guys of the current season.

Game starts now.

10 – PATRIOTS / ARDY LARONG
STATS: 6.0PPG • 3.0RPG • 2.0APG • 0.8SPG
Now in his second year playing for the ABL, the former Purefoods and Sta. Lucia forward is bringing in his hard-nosed attitude for the Patriots.

9 – WARRIORS / ALLAN SALANGSANG
STATS: 8.2PPG • 4.0RPG • 2.0APG • 1.3SPG
The lengthy three-point shooting vet is another player making waves as an ABL import. Owing playing credentials with Talk N Text and Welcoat, Salangsang is getting heavy playing time surveying the long bombs with a nice 46 percent accuracy.

8 – BEERMEN / JUNMAR FAJARDO
STATS: 4.3PPG • 4.7RPG • 0.8BPG
Like I said, I still have doubts on whether or not Fajardo can carry his talents to the big stage. Using the ABL stint as stepping stone to a future in the PBA, Fajardo needs to do more damage with his points and rebounds to make a statement.

7 – DRAGONS / PATRICK CABAHUG
STATS: 12.4PPG • 1.9RPG
I feel sad that this guy hasn’t had a good PBA career but no question, the guy can score. Playing for Air21 (Barako Bull) last season, this is his second stint in the ABL and the Dragons will exploit his scoring spree at the two-spot.

6 – WARRIORS / JERICK CANADA
STATS: 6.6PPG • 2.8RPG • 3.4APG • 1.8SPG
I think Jerick Canada will have a shot at the PBA Draft (2nd round likely) with the antics he’s pulling this season. Fresh from an Adamson and a Freego Jeans stint, Canada is through playing second fiddle to Alex Nuyles, Eric Camson, Lester Alvarez, and company and he is dishing out his goods with gusto.

5 – SLINGERS / DON DULAY
STATS: 10.8PPG • 2.0RPG • 2.9APG • 1.9SPG
The Fil-Am guard who has a knack in hitting the trifectas but can man the field when needed is the Pinoy tasked to replace Al Vergara from the Singapore Slingers lineup. Despite the Slingers’ current struggles, look for this guy to provide the help the team desperately needs.

4 – BEERMEN / FROI BAGUION
STATS: 5.6PPG • 2.7RPG • 4.8APG • 2.1SPG
One thing we have that works for us against our region-mates is our high basketball IQ. This is why our point guards are highly touted and best in the region. Baguion is no exception, as he is ranked one of the best PG’s in the current ABL season.

3 – BEERMEN / LEO AVENIDO
STATS: 12.2PPG • 3.1RPG • 1.6APG • 0.9SPG
His stock became expendable when Barako Bull landed Allein Maliksi and Dylan Ababou from the 2011 PBA Draft and even if both rookies are gone, it did not save him from getting re-signed. Still, this is Barako Bull’s loss because time and again it has been proven that when a team gives Leo Avenido minutes, the former FEU slasher will deliver.

2 – COBRAS / MARVIN CRUZ
STATS: 13.6PPG • 3.1RPG • 3.8APG • 1.3SPG
Now this is the proper way to use Marvin Cruz. Marvelous Marvin’s potential is shining so brightly outside the Philippines and this could be his ticket to return to the big dance… if he wants. Thing is, some random PBA team might murder his talents. I don’t want to say that he’s best served away from the PBA but the way he is playing, he looks like it.

1 – PATRIOTS / AL VERGARA
STATS: 10.1PPG • 3.1RPG • 6.2APG • 1.9SPG
I think if there’s an All-Time ABL team, look for this guy to get dibs on the PG spot. After two seasons with the Slingers, Vergara reunited with former Harbour Centre boss Mikee Romero to lead the Patriots and it’s like a match made in heaven. The former St. Francis Dove leads the league in assists and is the only local in the Patriots to average in double figures.

For those who think my list is a sham, I based this on the TOTAL outputs of the players. This basically means that we will have to wait for two weeks to see the names of Jai Reyes, Ferriols, Noy Javier, Rob Sanz, and according to Quinito Henson… Ken Bono.

Rounding up the rest of the Filipinos in the ABL are as follows: Benedict Fernandez, Nic Belasco, Warren Ybanez, Junjun Cabatu, Vaughn Canta, RJ Rizada, Jonathan Fernandez, Allan Mangahas, Angelus Raymundo, Norman Gonzales, Ron Capati, Erick Rodriguez, Kelvin Dela Pena, Eddie Laure, Aris Dimaunahan, Reed Juntilla, Marcy Arellano, Mark Magsumbol, Rob Wainwright, JP Alcaraz, Raymond Aguilar, Eder Saldua, Earl Saguindel, and Marlon Basco.

Chris Banchero, who was poised to suit up for the San Miguel Beermen, was barred from playing in the ABL because he failed to log residency time.

See you in two weeks.

Game over.

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