The 2012 Leo Awards Predictions (Part 1)
July 28, 2012 by Sydrick Salazar
The Leo Awards is now here to either tell us to pursue our Madame Auring capabilities or tell us off that everything we know is false.
Yes, this is my predictions on who will win what in the season awards.
First up, let me just tell you that there a lot of names that have popped up with regards to the MVP award. The PBA website has announced the players in the running.
So without further adieu (and since I’m sick and I just need a way to put something on my blog), here are my bets for the season awards.
LARRY FONACIER / TALK N TEXT TROPANG TEXTERS
This award puzzles me. What is the criterion for this? Does this involve community projects, getting bumped like hell and just saying “okay”, or helping an enemy up as he falls down? Does he lead the league in shake hands after the game? This award is too vague for me but in the list that has Peter June Simon, JV Casio, and Larry Fonacier, I’m going to go with the Baby-Faced Assassin. My reason is this – Fonacier had his best year in the pros now. Sure his Rookie of the Year award was nice and all but this was the first season where he averaged in double figures. He also had career-highs in rebounds, minutes, and three-point percentage. Add to that fact that while every Talk N Text player got injured, he was the only one that poured his guts in every game. He was also instrumental in TNT Philippine Cup win and he was cited as the Finals MVP for his exploits against Powerade. And yet HE DIDN’T GET A MYTHICAL SELECTION NOMINATION! If this is a consolation prize of sorts then the PBA should give it to Fonacier.
ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM AWARD:
While the Leo Awards doesn’t do Defensive Player of the Year citations (this is reserved for the PBA Press Corps), in the running for the plums are Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood, Jireh Ibanes, and Beau Belga, Talk N Text’s Kelly Williams and Ryan Reyes, Ginebra’s Willie Wilson and Rudy Hatfield, Meralco’s Asi Taulava, Reynel Hugnatan, and Chris Ross, Air21’s Wynne Arbodela, and Alaska’s Sonny Thoss. So let’s check out my predictions:
RYAN REYES / TALK N TEXT TROPANG TEXTERS
CHRIS ROSS / MERALCO BOLTS
Ross is one of the reasons why having Macmac Cardona and Solomon Mercado in one team could work. He is also the league’s leader in terms of steals per game. Also, you have to remember how tough it was for James Yap to score against Ryan Reyes and when Reyes got cramps, Yap wreaked havoc en route to messing up TNT’s grand slam hopes. Reyes was also effective in dealing with the other guards in the league as well as the smaller small forwards. By the way, Reyes ranks first in the season for total steals.
GABE NORWOOD / RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS
WILLIE WILSON / BARANGAY GINEBRA KINGS
What shocked me in this list is the lack of Arwind Santos and Marc Pingris because I believe they could have at least been nominated for these prime spots (Arwind leads the league in blocks). With that said, Gabe Norwood is one player worth mentioning in the list. While Paul Lee and Jeff Chan have made a stronghold with their offense, the point forward is making things right with his ability to guard four positions. At times he can be an effective import stopper and can even dabble with the smaller-built centers. And then there’s Willie Wilson. Ginebra’s defense calls on this guy because this is basically his calling card. Whenever the Gins need to guard an import or a top local regardless of status and position, the guy will surely get the job done. I remember one Alaska game where he would guard LA Tenorio for a minute and then go to Jason Forte the next. The guy is versatile and this is why he gets more minutes than the ex-marquee guys in their roster.
CENTER: ASI TAULAVA / MERALCO BOLTS
I don’t want to write him here because I think he’s also a safe bet for the Mythical Selection but there’s no questioning how much of travesty it is to drive to the paint with a 6’10 bungalow blocking your path. Asi Taulava regardless of age will still make you change your shot midair and he just needs to raise his hands to do it. This is why when Ryan Gregorio finally freed Taulava from his bench in the Commissioner’s Cup and batched him with Earl Barron, Meralco almost got their selves to the semis.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER:
JEFF CHAN / RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS
There are three players telling the league that they are changed men – Jeff Chan, Doug Kramer, and Josh Urbiztondo. For me however, Urbiztondo automatically is out of the running because I believe his rookie season with Sta. Lucia trumps his current season. So this leaves us with two bets – clearly Kramer has improved especially in the Philippine Cup where he averaged in double-doubles playing for Powerade. He did the same feat in the latter half of his Governor’s Cup stint this time playing for Barako Bull. The problem with Kramer is that he got lost in the shuffle in the Commissioner’s Cup and was insignificant in the opening salvo of the Governor’s Cup. Unlike Chan who has been consistent for Yeng Guiao from the get-go of the season. Chan like Fonacier is a late second round selection by Red Bull who shot to fame by giving no shit on how a second round player should play. While everyone was checking out the awesomeness of Paul Lee fans began to wonder what the hell Jeff Chan is doing. Unlike other shooters, this FEU sniper packs himself with a tolerable defense as well and his wondrous shooting touch connects the younger generation to Boy Cabahug or dare I say it… Allan Caidic! This is definitely his best season to date and it looks as if he is a cinch to clinch the Most Improved plum.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
PAUL LEE / RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS
You have to give this award to The Lethal Weapon. His entry to the team gave the squad a newfound swagger that Yeng Guiao hoped he’d have with Gabe Norwood… offensive-wise. I think there was talk after the draft that JV Casio may be the top pick but Paul Lee will be the Rookie of the Year. This is true because of two things – Casio has Marcio Lassiter to fight in his own squad while Rain or Shine desperately needs a blue chip point guard in their roster.
At the start of the season, Casio was injured, Lassiter struggled and the top spot was battled by two players – Lee and Chris Lutz. Dylan Ababou, Allein Maliksi, Mark Barroca, Mac Baracael, and rookie free agent James Sena had their turns to shine but Lee and Lutz were the ones scrambling for the top spot. And then when Lutz got hurt in the Philippine Cup (and missed almost all but two games of the Commissioner’s Cup) and Lee got one dayoff, Lassiter shone. Lassiter and Casio were the busybodies who helped Gary David in a losing effort against the Talk N Text Tropang Texters. Lassiter was leading all rookies in the ROY race until he was shipped to Petron where he had a freak injury that wasted his season. The dogfight was left to the cudgels of Paul Lee and JV Casio but as it turns out, Casio lacked the offensive bite to upstage Lee. Paul Lee was an important ingredient in Rain or Shine’s first finals appearance so that is enough for me to give him the Top Rookie nod.
I’m going to cut this now so that I can do other stuffs.
Why? Because it’s cooler this way.