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What’s up with all imports these days?
I tell you, PBA imports have it bad these days. It’s like the month of March is invented to weed out the weakass foreigners the Philippine companies pay to entertain us. I know most of these imports played in the NCAA but why on earth would they want to bring March Madness here?
Anyway, Jamelle Cornley – the import instrumental in giving the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters their first ever PBA title – could join Renaldo Balkman and Walter Sharpe in the chopping block for opening a can of whoop ass on a local cop (I know Sharpe isn’t banned for life but for sleeping in the sidewalks… he should). Cornley went apeshit after he did the naughty on three chicks at Sir Williams Hotel and discovered that the chicks robbed him of his money. Cornley went ballistic after losing 1,400 dollars and the poor cop took a massive fist bump to the head from the 6’5 rebounding beast from the Penn State Lions.
After helping the Elasto Painters win the 2012 PBA Governor’s Cup that ended in mid 2012, Cornley has stayed on to repair his knee – all expenses paid by the Rain or Shine management. He has since had it cozy in the Philippines and he once had no less than former FHM cover girl and star of XXX Juliana Palermo as girlfriend. Let’s face it – Rain or Shine kept Cornley happy because they want him to represent ROS anew as their import in their title retention.
Now that’s just out of the question?
I know Cornley is just pissed as hell for getting robbed at the three hookers he made brutal animal monkey sex with but I expect Commissioner Chito Salud to ban him. I know this is not a PBA-related case but Renaldo Balkman was struck out with a choke that never really bruised his teammate Arwind Santos… and that incident is super fresh in everyone’s minds at the moment. It’s also a case of double standard for the PBA execs to just let this go. The San Miguel Corporation will definitely eat the PBA if they turned the other cheek regarding this because Cornley clearly has a criminal case for this.
It sucks to get robbed but as a behemoth of an individual, Cornley needs to check his anger. You can’t really like a guy who went topless (to expose his tattooed frame) and went preachy that he is unstoppable and no law can work on him. Direct assault is the obvious case for Cornley that can also lead to other charges like scandal, acts of lasciviousness, endorsing prostitution, and damage to property.
Did he make the cop hurl blood?
CHARGE HIM WITH LITTERING AS WELL!
I also urge the imports and the other foreign nationals to do the same. It seems as if these guys think that just because the Philippines is a third world country, they are allowed to laid waste on our law. I know there are a lot of corrupt officials but I also know that there are a lot of good people living on this side of the world who are all working for the betterment of the country. Cornley could have just stayed at home and not order any prostitutes and not PUNCH a cop. Now he had to be restrained by a lot of cops for losing his cool but what if the people with the badges failed to kept theirs? Restraining an unruly individual that punched the living shit of a policeman is ground for these guys to use their gun! Any country has that law! It’s either that… or they add you as stew flavoring!
Sorry Mr. Cornley, you were awesome as a player for Rain or Shine but there is no way this incident will leave you as a persona non grata.
Welcome to the Import Rankings. I know. It’s inconsistent. My blogging days are inconsistent as well because unlike Walter Sharpe (pictured) who got the boot for going viral by sleeping in a place flourishing with spit, garbage, and rat semen, I have a job.
Let’s see who led the list this week.
Game starts now.
10 – RODNEY WHITE / PETRON
Rodney White’s first game back was a re-learning experience. For starters, Donnell Harvey schooled him. Petron’s locals have been playing good lately – as evidence to what they did in their first game without Renaldo Balkman.
9 – SYLVESTER MORGAN / GLOBALPORT
Sylvester Morgan is GlobalPort’s third import and with the looks of their conference, he’ll probably be their last due to the uselessness of their situation. No offense to the Batang Pier fans but I would have stuck with Justin Williams because of his defensive presence.
8 – DONNELL HARVEY / TALK N TEXT
Donnell Harvey has yet to give the Tropang Texters the winning streaks they are known for. It’s odd to see them in this spot but they were in the same bubble last season and they still turned in a finals-worthy performance. With the ineffectiveness of Talk N Text’s frontcourt, it may be time to contemplate on what could have been if Japeth Aguilar is still with the team.
7 – BRUNO SUNDOV / RAIN OR SHINE
Say what you will about Bruno Sundov, but he’s been the right import for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. He’s practically the Euro version of one of Yeng Guiao’s beloved Mexican Adam Parada and is instrumental in solving the riddle that was the dominance of Talk N Text. Of course, Jeff Chan’s return helped as well… but still.
6 – EVAN BROCK / BARAKO BULL
Evan Brock is not a bad import. He’s just playing for an abysmal team. Go ahead and hate me. I can get the hype for Josh Urbiztondo and the re-hype for Danny Seigle but those guys aren’t long term plans… just yet. Allein Maliksi and JC Intal are awkward as star players with the way they were treated last season and for the rest of the league, blocking Brock out means rubbing off the Energy Cola’s chances.
5 – DENZEL BOWLES / SAN MIG COFFEE
Denzel Bowles isn’t the monster he was last season but he is keeping the San Mig Coffee Mixers afloat. Tim Cone is still claiming his mastery against his former squad and if the Mixers just planed him sooner, then San Mig Coffee wouldn’t be 5-5. The reigning Best Import must exert his dominance… especially with scoring partner James Yap currently in a whirlwind of trouble.
4 – VERNON MACKLIN / GINEBRA
Vernon Macklin is ten times better than Herbert Hill in my opinion. Ginebra doesn’t need a dominating import – since the team shares the same sentiments with their fans that follow their emotions rather than logic. This is not a bad thing – mind you. Technically, the Kings defied common sense by trouncing their foes sans their leader and their top scorer.
3 – MICHAEL DUNIGAN / AIR21
Mike Dunigan is one awesome m’fer. I mean this in a good way. I saw how he got battered by almost all of the Alaska Aces in their recent squabble and he managed to stay on the thick of things despite the mess he was in. They also mangled the tough San Mig Coffee squad (disregarding their two wins against the Batang Pier because they are current busts) to notch their fourth straight win. The naturalization consideration should be another reason for his impressive showing.
2 – ROBERT DOZIER / ALASKA
While Dozier is still doing a fine job for the Aces, Alaska hasn’t been the same after winning their first five matches. Since the winning spree, the Aces have pingponged their wins with their losses – winning two of their last five to be exact. While Luigi Trillo has complained like hell on the Aces’ bad finish, it still doesn’t add up on their current mishaps.
1 – ERIC DAWSON / MERALCO
Ahh… the mighty Eric Dawson. Meralco’s worst kept secret weapon is now on top of the ranking following the over reaction of Petron’s ex-import Renaldo Balkman. Despite Meralco’s losing drought, his game is enough to push him on top. After a couple of games noted for Sunday Salvacion’s awesomeness and a game showcasing Ronjay Buenafe’s points though, Dawson is at a loss with the lack of local support. To check out their conference, whenever the Bolts fail to hit 90, they hit rock bottom. With Dawson accountable for the team’s 26 points, where can they get the other 64?
Check out the extended version of this article by clicking HERE!
In 2011, the best draft class since the 2003 PBA Draft emerged. The batch was littered by the best amateurs eligible as well as the highly-favored prospects from the Rajko Toroman-led Smart-Gilas Pilipinas squad that placed fourth in the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships.
The fourth place finish for Team Pilipinas was the best finish for the country since the days of Northern Consolidated Cement and despite the additions of Asi Taulava, Ranidel de Ocampo, Kelly Williams, and Jimmy Alapag, paving the way for its success are Jayvee Casio, Chris Lutz, Marcio Lassiter, Mac Baracael, Mark Barroca, Dylan Ababou, Jason Ballesteros, and Magi Sison.
And then we need to check out players like former UAAP Mythical Member Paul Lee, UAAP Champ Eric Salamat, NCAA Champions Pamboy Raymundo and Gilbert Bulawan, PBA D-League’s inaugural MVP Allein Maliksi, and former FEU Tamaraw Reil Cervantes.
The batch started out with pedigree but one year later, it doesn’t make any sense to give these guys the accolades they had during their rookie season.
Game starts now.
1 – JAYVEE CASIO / POWERADE
CURRENT TEAM ROUTE: POWERADE TO ALASKA
The sale of Powerade to GlobalPort and the eagerness of Mikee Romero to target Willie Miller is enough to package Casio in what is a monumental deal. Before the deal Casio, looms to be a star. At least unlike his other Smart-Gilas teammates, he is still on the rise with the Alaska Aces. The future continues to look bright for the 26 year old sophomore.
2 – PAUL LEE / RAIN OR SHINE
BATCH’S ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
CURRENT TEAM ROUTE: HAS YET TO BE TRADED
Packaged from Cobra Commander to Angas ng Tondo (I hate his Lee-thal Weapon shtick), Paul Lee finished his rookie season on the injured list but not before helping Rain or Shine win their first ever PBA title. Blame it on his injury (or perhaps team chemistry) but Lee’s offense is struggling this season. People pegged this 24 year old scorer to have superstar numbers but that’s not going to happen with the way he’s playing.
3 – CHRIS LUTZ / PETRON
CURRENT TEAM ROUTE: HAS YET TO BE TRADED
(Pick originally meant for Barako Bull)
Lutz is perhaps the most consistent shooter of his batch – contrary to the role he worked on during his Smart-Gilas days. The other thing Lutz is consistent at – injuries. It seems as if Lutz can’t shake off the injury bug that littered his rookie as well as his sophomore season. This needs to be corrected since people tend to forget that Lutz is an old second year player at 28 years of age.
4 – MARCIO LASSITER / POWERADE
CURRENT TEAM ROUTE: POWERADE TO PETRON
As part of the Powerade Tigers, Lassiter was pegged as one of the best players to come out of his batch. He is a stat magnet that can pull out all punches on both ends of the court. However, ever since he was traded to Petron, his career took a dive. While he is still 25, playing behind Arwind Santos and Jay Washington as well as the other veterans made him lose his minutes, scoring privies, and most importantly his confidence.
5 – MARK BARROCA / B-MEG
CURRENT TEAM ROUTE: HAS YET TO BE TRADED
(Pick originally meant for Shopinas)
Dubbed by his fans as The Coffee Prince, the former FEU guard is now the groomed successor to the starting PG job once held by Willie Generalao, Dindo Pumaren, Donking Sasuman, Boyet Fernandez, Noy Castillo, and Roger Yap. The problem is, it’s as if he can’t get a good hold of the position. Tim Cone traded his vets for the 26-year-old to get exclusive dibs and he has yet to pick up the pace.
6 – MAC BARACAEL / ALASKA
CURRENT TEAM ROUTE: ALASKA TO GINEBRA
No question, Kalibre 45 is a promising combo forward. However, Alaska elected to trade him because they would rather develop their other promising combo forward… Calvin Abueva. While the 27-year-old can play power forward in college, he can’t really play as such in the PBA especially with the imports. He’s also more of a Ronald Tubid mode and with Mark Caguioa and Chris Ellis manning the SG/SF spots, Baracael is having a hard time getting minutes.
7 – JASON BALLESTEROS / MERALCO
CURRENT TEAM ROUTE: MERALCO TO BARAKO BULL
The former San Sebastian center played little minutes in his rookie season – playing behind Asi Taulava and Jay-R Reyes. He could have played more for the Bolts with the departure of Asi but he was sent to the Energy Colas. At 27, he is returning to the “familiar” system of Rajko Toroman where he sits on the bench looking aimlessly on finding a way to get inside the court.
8 – ALLEIN MALIKSI / BARAKO BULL
(Pick originally meant for Petron)
CURRENT TEAM ROUTE: BARAKO BULL TO GINEBRA TO BARAKO BULL
The high-flying 25-year-old from UST could be the subject of the current trade rule revision. After an injury the ruined his strong initial showing for Barako Bull, he saw his stock fall when he got traded to Ginebra. Worse, his injuries began to recur anew. Thankfully he was traded back to Barako Bull where he is getting adequate time to shine – contrary to his other batchmates.
9 – REIL CERVANTES / GINEBRA
CURRENT TEAM ROUTE: GINEBRA TO BARAKO BULL
Now 26, Cervantes took the Elmer Espiritu route by wasting away the accomplishments he gathered in the UAAP by struggling in the PBA. But while Espiritu has proven himself, Cervantes has yet to show the full extent of his capabilities. Or maybe he already did? If that’s the case then he’s in for a bad third season… if he manages to qualify for one.
10 – DYLAN ABABOU / BARAKO BULL
CURRENT TEAM ROUTE: BARAKO BULL TO GINEBRA
Also 26, it shocked everyone that the former MVP was picked dead last in the first round but quickly made up for this by impressing the hell out of everybody. For those reasons, he was sought by the Gin Kings. Problem is, he hasn’t had the same performance he unleashed while playing for Barako Bull. Worse, his sophomore season ended in just two games due to an ACL.
We have seen this in the draft class of Rico Maierhofer as well as in the draft class of Nonoy Baclao. Because a lot of the young players are bounced from team to team, the “future” can’t seem to develop. That’s why I applaud Commissioner Chito Salud for improving the free agent and trading situation rule. This move spares rookies from getting locked on an environment that doesn’t warrant growth. This is also a good way to prelude expansion. I think this is the right time to consider expanding the teams – especially since single round robin elimination conferences amount to just a measly nine games for the sewer dwellers. Salud has already “cleaned up” the bad and lopsided trades – so the next step would definitely border on how the league can raise better profit.
Anyway, two years later, the PBA got it right on the first two choices but seeing that the draft was littered by a lot of players with international exposure. They are the best college basketball could offer during their time and could offer more if given the chance to prove their selves.
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If there’s one thing James Yap haters can agree with the James Yap fans – most of them ardently hate Kris Aquino. It may be for a lot of reasons like they want Yap for themselves, or they think Kris is ridiculously tactless, they hate cougars, they think the current administration sucks or perhaps they just hate showbiz people dating basketball players.
Now I am not going to tackle on the showbiz thing because I don’t want to have a bunch of people checking out my site and saying mean things.
I don’t like the “may three years pa ang brother ko” comment. It’s election time and I may hate the way the president is doing things at the moment (the gas prices, taxi fares, electricity consumption, and other expending woes), but it could cost some sort of dismay on giving a bit more power on their political dynasty.
The statement is also an arrogant way of stating the obvious things. There’s a NATSOT where Yap said that Kris has the power to blindside his success. I don’t think San Mig Coffee would either bench or trade Yap. James Yap is a two-time PBA MVP and is bar none one of the league’s most important superstars. Unless the other party employs some dude bent to sabotage his career, I can’t see them trouncing Yap. The life of a basketball player is also an issue to check out. Sure, there are 365 days in a week and while some of those days are spent foolishly, 22 to 24 times a day is a good number considering the hatred as well as the awkwardness Yap encounters whenever he visits his son. You also need to add the practices as well as other commitments. I am guessing the visited days are during the weekends or when the need for a dad’s appearance is of much importance.
Say what you will, but only MALE ACTORS cry in front of the camera. Maybe on a highly-charged sporting event with high stakes is an exception, but not every match should be met with an emotional outburst. So for Yap to cry in front of TV is just shocking.
I think the only flaw James Yap did here is he tried to sway his kid’s love wrongly. I think by now he should have learned from his past mistakes. James Yap got married without any written consent from his parents (since he is under 25 when he got hitched) and was married by a minister of a different religion. By this time Yap should have known how wily and wiry his former beau can be.
I think the best way for Yap to win here is by waiting for things to work out. In a couple of years the kid will enter the age of puberty where a suffocating mother will be an enemy and the kid will probably discover the basketball player in his genes. Maybe Yap can add “Jr.” on his jersey to signify his connections with his kid (not unless he wants to put that really icky nickname that should haunt him in adolescent years). A simple gesture like that will raise questions when the child is capable to understand stuffs in the future and all he needs to do is become a good role model.
With that said, he needs to seriously claim a title and it will never hurt his stature if he wins an individual accolade. Yap is the heart and soul of the San Mig Coffee Mixers despite the loss of most of their point guard core from last year’s title owning squad, the team is capable of winning without Joe Devance (JDV was injured most of the Commissioner’s Cup last season) and they have with them last year’s Best Import Denzel Bowles. If he wins the Best Player of the Conference Award, there’s a good chance for Yap to win the MVP – especially with how male fans would back him up compared to the other side of this argument.
Of course now this is a totally different matter. Yap haters will back him now but he needs to expect the jeers when he faces off with other teams.
At least they side with him off-court though.
Just like in a basketball game, I expect the other side to switch from offense to defense.
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I guess this article is a bit too late. Former Petron import Renaldo Balkman was summoned by PBA Commissioner Chito Salud and despite his pleas as well as the Petron Blaze Boosters management, Balkman was kicked out of the league for life and with an additional 250,000-peso baggage.
I am an ardent believer that emotionally-charged people stink in concealing their insecurities and Balkman is no exception. The guy is a former NBA player who once scored a career-high 22 points and 11 rebounds versus the Los Angeles Clippers in 2009. He is currently representing the Puerto Rico national squad alongside team captains Daniel Santiago (former Phoenix Sun) and NBA journeyman Carlos Arroyo as well as former Washington draftee Peter John Ramos and former Dallas Mav and current Minnesota T-Wolf JJ Barea… before signing up with the Petron Blaze Boosters.
And then he choked Arwind Santos.
If this was a Bruce Lee film:
Most of Bruce Lee’s films centered on nationalism and telling the world that his people are not patsies.
If this was a Tondo-based film:
Teritoryo natin ‘to, gagong yan ah!
I think this was what Salud was trying to prove – no import will lay waste on the foundations of Philippine basketball. Balkman can do thug-like motions in American soil (or even in international play as seen with his antics against Grievis Vasquez) but if we applaud our players for standing up against the likes of Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Kobe Bryant, what makes them think that a player like Balkman can do whatever they can to whatever they can to violate our dignity.
This is also the reason why Wynne Arboleda is still playing in the PBA. First up, Arboleda charged at an irate (albeit annoying) fan (sorry but fans should know better than to piss off sweaty, muscular men. And then this is Arboleda primary source of income. Balkman can be an import in a lot of leagues even with the incident but Arboleda won’t. And finally, Arboleda is a Filipino. Wynne will be labeled as PIKON while throughout this ordeal, Balkman was labeled as PERSONA NON GRATA.
Still, Balkman showed class and remorse during the events that transpired after the incident. At least he did so after that classless action. Balkman’s problem is that… hindi siya maawat. All he had to do was to let his teammates stop him and with that he lost his gig.
Now the San Miguel Corporation is trying to pull their weight on the league by threatening to pull out their franchise.
So much for the PBA being a “San Miguel” league!
If this was my 7-year-old version:
Kinuha niya robot ko kaya tinusok ko siya ng ballpen!
If this was Caloy Alde during his stint in Tropang Trumpo:
Kinagat ako ng aso niyo. Kaya ayun… kinain ko pagkain niya!
A player represents his organization if he wears their colors. If you check out the online reports all over the world, Balkman was labeled as former New York Knick and current PETRON Blaze Booster. Petron is one of best known gasoline companies in the country and has stakes all over Asia. Every time their name is seen alongside Balkman, they get flak. All PBA teams yearn for high revenues and recall whenever they play in the PBA. Tambays choose Ginebra because this is the team their players play. Unlike San Miguel, Ginebra can’t stand alone and had to rely on chicks in their swimsuits. San Mig Coffee is like a testing zone for San Miguel products like B-Meg because Purefoods bar none one of the most important brands in the country today.
San Miguel has every reason to pull out their product if they are interested to put positive vibes on their corporation again.
But they won’t.
And here’s why.
First of all, San Miguel is one of the staple squads of the league. San Miguel is an original member while Ginebra started in 1979 and Purefoods in 1988. They have played in a lot of championship games and has captured at least 40 percent of the available haul.
Second of all, their pullout will spark the rest of the brands that San Miguel kept away because they have the “same” brand as them. We all know Asia Brewery will sink their teeth in the spoils and teams like Duty Free Philippines, SM Holdings, and Phoenix Fuel could join in. These brands haven’t exposed their products because they have no avenue to put it in and this could be the start of the growth.
And finally, the fate of all the SMC players will be a curious case. I can’t see all the good players playing import to ABL teams as an all-star caliber beefs up the San Miguel Beermen-ABL squad. Or better yet, maybe they can rename their squad Northern Consolidated Cement Part Two! Imagine – this is the team fans are drooling on! Tim Cone takes helm and Alfrancis Chua and Olsen Racela would act as deputies with Mark Caguioa and James Yap sharing shooting duties, Alex Cabagnot and LA Tenorio acting as playmakers, Arwind Santos and Marc Pingris and as well as Jay Washington and Joe Devance playing the dual positions and Junmar Fajardo and even current ABL player Asi Taulava playing the center spots. And for the eleventh and twelfth picks – maybe we can have a tossup between Chris Banchero, Marcio Lassiter, Ronald Tubid, Mark Barroca, Mac Baracael, Chris Lutz, Peter June Simon, Dylan Ababou, Jayjay Helterbrand, Rudy Hatfield, Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril, Yancy De Ocampo, and others.
Yes my friends… it’s that good.
But would these guys love the career path they will be headed?
Fact is it won’t.
Just like in the first Smart-Gilas, many will step out of the squad to go to teams that would give them more exposure. Yap and Caguioa, two players who gets at least 30 minutes per game will have less time to create their shots while none of these gents would want to average laughable two points and one rebound per game.
And for those loving the idea of a return of a MBA-like squad – it depends on the budget, the teams involved, the players, and the broadcast carrier. To those who think “conduits” like Air21 and Barako Bull would join the San Miguel squads, I think this is impossible. I know the Lina franchise is no stranger to the affairs of MetroBall but the Laguna Lakers, the first chance they got to snag a PBA franchise, went ahead and never looked back in their erstwhile league. The PBA has had history and judging from the careers of the PBA players that moved to the MBA, none of them got the careers they wanted to continue (although Bong Ravena and Ato Agustin played well in their first season back to the PBA).
I just heard in the news that Balkman can return to the league if he undergoes attitude change and perhaps go into anger management. That… my friends… is a way for the league to appease the San Miguel magnate. This backtracking of a powerful statement is a terrible way to relent a decision but maybe the Commissioner’s Office has enough reason to lift the order. Given the shame this stint brought Balkman, he’ll likely stay away from the Philippines. Imagine in his first game back and people boo him out of the arena. With the mental state he was in, it will be hard for him to forget the severity of his actions.
Now let’s see how the rest of mercenaries fare when you click HERE!
I saw the Philippine Star article Quinito Henson made for Petron’s braided beast Renaldo Balkman. He’s right on cue with everything. The only Petronovela the team is having is their impact on the other teams once they beat them. As it is, he managed to make Tim Cone give up on Matt Rogers, bomb Herbert Hill to evacuation, tame Eric Dawson, shame the people around Mike Dunigan, and lay waste on Evan Brock, Josh Urbiztondo, and their former coach Rajko Toroman.
So you know the man on top of the list who claims that he’s “Invincible”.
1. Renaldo Balkman
2. Robert Dozier
3. Eric Dawson
4. Keith Benson
5. Vernon Macklin
6. Evan Brock
7. Michael Dunigan
8. Justin Williams
9. Denzel Bowles
10. Bruno Sundov
Now here’s the breakdown: Balkman has a commanding almost five-point lead from joint second placers Dawson and Keith Benson in terms of scoring while GlobalPort’s Justin Williams is doing his best Jeff Ward impersonation by being nonexistent in scoring but a whole lot of everything in the rebounding and swatting department. Vernon Macklin, the only bright light aside from Mark Caguioa and LA Tenorio in Ginebra, leads all imports in assists while Dawson comes on top in terms of swipes.
Anyway, some teams with awesome results are cellar dwelling in the rankings. Monster Bowles is almost last in the rankings but ever since his arrival, the San Mig Coffee Mixers are on a roll. Don’t let Bowles’ numbers fool you… because the low numbers combines with the reawakening of the local support. Meanwhile, the Elasto Painters may be a win away from tying Petron at second but Yeng Guiao should find a way to integrate Sundov to the scheme of things. Make no mistake – he is part of the scheme of things (which is why he is still here) but the guy is second to the last in points, and last in rebounds and blocks. This considering that the team has only Ryan Arana in double digits and Jeff Chan is injured. Fact is, like what we saw in the Ginebra game, the only way Rain or Shine withstood Ginebra’s threat is because of the locals. In some ways, this is like what GlobalPort is doing right now… only despite the offensive surge of Solomon Mercado, Japeth Aguilar, and Gary David, their efforts aren’t enough to pad the 14-point production of Williams.
And speaking of Williams, Keith Benson needs more local support. Talk N Text is off to their worst start in a long time and while Benson is scoring in his 20s, Ranidel de Ocampo is just averaging 8ppg, Larry Fonacier 6.4ppg, and Kelly Williams 2.3ppg. In the Philippine Cup, these guys were almost a combined 30ppg so definitely they need to pick up on their scoring. The same thing can be said with Ginebra and Air21 – both teams have powerful imports but for some reason their locals aren’t in sync with their respective imports (Macklin has Caguioa and Tenorio while Dunigan has Mike Cortez and KG Canaleta.
All is well in Alaskaland with Robert Dozier playing beautiful music with the rest of the Aces. It seems that Dozier was piss-poor at first but when his game got going, everything else follows. Meralco had Dawson at his finest at the start – banging in 37 markers against of all teams, Talk N Text but since had just 19.8ppg in their last four games.
And finally, Evan Brock needs to step his game up. Let’s face it but the last thing Josh Urbiztondo, Jonas Villanueva, and the old Danny Seigle were at the start of the conference are superstars. Sure, they racked up three early wins but they have lost three since.
Will the fates of these imports get better or worse in a week’s span?
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Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the second week of the 2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Rookie Rankings. Last week we saw Calvin Abueva ranking first followed by a shocker in San Mig Coffee’s Alex Mallari. With two weeks in the conference, let’s see how the marquee neophytes go their selves in the list.
Game starts now!
10 – Jason Deutchman / GlobalPort
Pinoy Brook Lopez has some sort of rise this week but to compare his game from last conference is just sad. Deutchman in three games average just a point and 2.3rpg.
9 – Chris Tiu / Rain or Shine
If you think about it, most of the Rain or Shine players aren’t dishing big numbers despite averaging 86 points per game. With that said Tiu is not doing any better with 2.5ppg, 2rpg, and 1spg.
8 – Yousef Taha / Ginebra
The former Mapuan is averaging just ten minutes but at least he is giving good value with 3ppg, 3.5rpg, 0.5apg, and 0.5bpg. Now let’s move on to his fellow Gin rookie.
7 – Chris Ellis / Ginebra
Doubling the minutes of Taha, Ellis is still the spot monkey rookie that needs to improve soon. Despite his 21 minutes, he’s not helping Ginebra’s woes with his 3.0ppg, 3.7rpg, and 1.0apg.
6 – AJ Mandani / GlobalPort
After two games of inactivity, Mandani returned to the Port Masters (homage for their old Harbour Centre moniker) to help give the team the win with 6 points and 3 assists in 15 minutes.
5 – Cliff Hodge / Meralco
The Cliffhanger is a shell of his former Philippine Cup self. While he’s still fifth in playing time log, Hodge is barely getting 20 minutes. Cliff is delivering 3.3ppg, 4.7rpg, and 0.7bpg for the Bolts.
4 – Alex Mallari / San Mig Coffee
With the way Mallari is getting the media nod as the guy “expected” to be the long-haired version of Gabe Norwood, he needs to find a way to make himself valuable for the Mixers. With San Mig Coffee stuck in a rut, he needs to bolster his 3.0ppg, 5.5rpg, and 3.0apg.
3 – Junmar Fajardo / Petron
Now after two so-so games, Fajardo “Krakened Up” against the Kings to unleash 18 points and 7 rebounds in 21 minutes. His minutes might still suck given his talent but this game was enough to raise his total outputs to 10.3ppg, 6.0rpg, and 0.7bpg.
2 – Vic Manuel / Meralco
Moving up a notch from last week is The Muscle. It seems like Manuel is thriving at the SF spot although he still needs to insert some consistency on his production. He’s currently tied for first among rookies in points with 10.7ppg to go along with 5.0rpg and 1.0apg.
1 – Calvin Abueva / Alaska
Despite not being his normal stat-hounding self when it comes to points, Abueva is still the odds-on favorite to be the top rookie of this conference (and it’s safe to say as well as this season from the way things are looking). The Beast is averaging double-doubles in points and rebounds to the tune of 10.7ppg, 10rpg, and as well as 1.7apg in just 22 minutes of action.
No change at number one this week for as long as Abueva gets the relevance and the reverence, there is no way he’ll get moved out of that spot. Missing this week’s grade are Alaska newcomer Aldrech Ramos and San Mig Coffee new addition Lester Alvarez. These two join Alaska’s Raphy Reyes, Meralco’s Kelly Nabong, and Ginebra’s Keith Jensen as part as the “almost” Top Ten guys.
How will next week unfold for the rookies?
Will Barako Bull finally use their abundant stock of rookies?
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The Rookie Rankings isn’t that big of awesomeness at the moment.
And yet, I am doing this.
With the imports cementing their status as the “feared” ones, the rookies are relegated to “watch and see” default mode. Combine that with the many personnel changes we have seen in the pre-Commissioner’s Cup, and then my friends, we have ourselves a bunch of kids getting benched.
Game starts now!
10 – Jason Deutchman / GlobalPort
From a promising frontliner, the rookie was demoted to Japeth Aguilar and Justin Williams’ rarely used backup. In two games he’s only good for 2.0rpg and 0.5apg.
9 – Lester Alvarez / San Mig Coffee
If there’s one thing this Adamson Falcon had that he never had while he was in Barako Bull, it’s exposure. Oh wait. My bad. At least in the four minutes he played, he had a triple and one board.
8 – Chris Tiu / Rain or Shine
The Smart-Gilas swisher got just 14 minutes in their loss against the Aces. In that game, the man behind the Tiu-torials was good for a mere point, two boards, and a steal.
7 – Cliff Hodge / Meralco
The Cliffhanger got 24 minutes in the Talk N Text contest but he never really got anything going with the murderous rampage unearthed by Eric Dawson. Hodge scored just 4 points and hauled just two rebounds.
6 – Junmar Fajardo / Petron
Remember the tantrums Japeth did to get playing time? I fear Fajardo will do the same thing with the way he’s used in Petron. In 11 minutes, he had 5 points, 2 rebounds, and a block. That’s good. So what’s with the benching?
5 – Aldrech Ramos / Alaska
While there are players who do not like their current predicament, this former FEU Tam is saying otherwise. In their win against Rain or Shine, Ramos came in and scored 5 points, a rebound, an assist, and a steal.
4 – Chris Ellis / Ginebra
Now don’t get me wrong. Ellis had the second highest playing time among rookies last week. However, he did not produce the results that were expected from him – as he could only cough up 3 points, 3 rebounds, and an assist against Air21.
3 – Vic Manuel / Meralco
The Muscle got sent to the Bolts as the big name to replace Solomon Mercado and for 21 minutes, he made his presence felt on the court. Manuel helped the Bolts win against their sister team by coming up with 8 points, 5 rebounds, and a steal.
2 – Alex Mallari / San Mig Coffee
Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. The player movement that Barako Bull initiated gave Mallari a chance to strut his wares with the Mixers. While his offense is still in question, in 29 minutes (first among rookies in this conference) he garnered 5 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.
1 – Calvin Abueva / Alaska
Well… isn’t this obvious? Just when everyone thought he’s not a clutch player, he made an extremely crucial block and the Aces disposed off the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Anyway, The Beast was able to rack up 8 points, 14 maddening rebounds, an assist, a steal, and that awesome block in 25 minutes of action.
Are the stats on the list not up to par to your standards? Well for those keeping tabs, AJ Mandani was nowhere in sight (I don’t know what’s his deal), Kelly Nabong, Yousef Taha, Keith Jensen, and Raphy Reyes played five minutes and less, and Dave Marcelo, Woody Co, Jaypee Belencion, Jewel Ponferada, and Emman Monfort have yet to see Commissioner’s Cup action (and on Monfort’s case… at all).
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Welcome back people to the first PBA Commissioner’s Cup Power Rankings for the 2012-13 PBA season! Last conference, we saw Jayson Castro winning his first Best Player of the Conference award.
I had Calvin Abueva on top of my list.
Anyway, the Power Rankings will start despite most teams having just one game because of the shortened season. In the young conference, here are the names that stood out.
Game starts now!
10 – Calvin Abueva / Alaska
In a span of ten seconds, Calvin Abueva broke the backs of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. While he struggled offensively with just eight points, he still helped the Aces with his 14 rebounds, an assist, a steal, and that crucial block against 7’3 ex-NBA player Bruno Sundov that sent Alaska to their first win. He needs to get on the good side of the vets though… since it’s evident that most of them hate his game.
9 – Alex Cabagnot / Petron
Alex Cabagnot opened the Commish Cup with a nice statistical showcase of 11 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, and a block but it was not enough to push the Blaze Boosters past the Batang Pier. C-Baggie’s stunts will have to double especially with the absence of Marcio Lassiter and the recent injury to Chris Lutz. Seldom used Chico Lanete, played 30 minutes for Petron because of their diminished backcourt.
8 – Arwind Santos / Petron
As always, Arwind “The Spiderman” is such a stat magnet. Despite Petron’s talented roster, he still manages to stat hound. This is why I can’t really fathom as to why the Blaze Boosters starts things off badly despite his 15-point and 10-rebound performance (although he did miss a potential game-winning moment). Hopefully his awesomeness will rub off to his teammates so that Petronovela would not rear its ugly head this conference.
7 – Mike Cortez / Air21
I have wanted to write about this fellow in the Power Rankings for some time now but because of his piss-poor averages as a Gin King, I couldn’t. Anyway, Cortez is awesome under the tutelage of Franz Pumaren. As seen with his 13-point, 6-rebound, 4-assist, 2-steal, and 1-block performance against his former team, Cortez was the key element as to why the Express held of Ginebra.
6 – Gary David / GlobalPort
At the start of last conference, El Granada failed to explode like how he did last season. Injuries, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, and a lot of other matters were cited as causes for his problems. He is making up for his flaws this season though. Mr. Pure Energy is back with neat averages of 23.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.0apg, and 1.0spg – which are all highs compared to the last conference.
5 – Jonas Villanueva / Barako Bull
A conference ago, Jonas was averaging less than four points a game but that’s now about to change thanks to Rajko Toroman’s system. As seen last season, Barako Bull have this knack to play well in the Commissioner’s Cup and it showing with their current win streak. Since leaving the San Mig Coffee Mixers, J-Vil has averaged 17ppg, 3.5rpg, 5.5apg, and 1.5spg.
4 – Josh Urbiztondo / Barako Bull
It seems as if the former B-Meg/San Mig Coffee guards are making people pay for making them look as discards. Urbiztondo to shock of everyone is carrying the scoring cudgels left by Ronald Tubid and is pouring in statistical insanities with 20.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 4.0apg, and 1.5spg. Also, with Toroman playing short-handed, The Fireball is playing a rare 40mpg in the last two games.
3 – Mark Caguioa / Ginebra
When everything else screamed suckdom on the Ginebra front, newly-appointed coach Alfrancis Chua turned on their reigning MVP to make things right for the squad. While the Kings lost (ruining the first chance of Alfrancis Chua to let his hair down), The Spark finished the Air21 match with 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.
2 – Japeth Aguilar / GlobalPort
Japeth Aguilar asked for playing time and with the support GlobalPort gave him, he is not disappointing them at the moment. Despite the sorry overtime loss the Batang Pier suffered against the Energy Colas, you can see that Japeth has turned up his game to a different level. With averages of 19.5ppg, 9.5rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg, and 2.0bpg, Aguilar is finally doing the things that’s worthy of a NBA D-League citation.
1 – Solomon Mercado / GlobalPort
With the way Mercado is playing, you’ll think he has been a Batang Pier guy since the start. Well he is, unless you discount his PBL stint. Anyway, Mercado – the Philippine Cup’s reigning scoring and passing leader – is averaging in double doubles with awesome averages of 18 points, 3 rebounds, and a league-leading 13.5apg! Plus with the way he is scoring, it’s funny that he ranks third on the list… before the import. You can’t blame Junel Baculi for the downgrade of Willie Miller with the way Mercado is playing.
Now what will happen next week?
Will the usual suspects like Cyrus Baguio, Miller, LA Tenorio, Macmac Cardona, Paul Lee, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, and the other top TNT Tropang Texters like Jayson Castro, Ryan Reyes, Ranidel De Ocampo, and Kelly Williams make the list?
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I don’t know what to think of the trade that happened last week. There were two trades but I’m going to focus my attention on the Sol Mercado trade. The trade saw the Sol Train going to his old PBL mother club GlobalPort Batang Pier (PBL team name is Harbour Centre) alongside rookies Kelly Nabong and JP Belencion and also with reserve forward Yousif Aljamal. For the Bolts, they will acquire Rey Guevarra, Vic Manuel, Josh Vanlandingham, and the 2015 first round pick.
This is because I thought the Bolts won the trade.
Remember at the start of the season when people thought it was a good idea to trade either Macmac Cardona or Sol Mercado for either Arwind Santos or Jay Washington? This thought happened because we thought Cardona and Mercado play alike which is the same sentiments we share in Santos and Washington.
Now you put Mercado in a three-way dance for the go-to-guy spot with Gary David and Willie Miller?
Last season, the Powerade Tigers understood that Gary David was their go-to-guy. Whether it’s Marcio Lassiter, Doug Kramer, Jayvee Casio, or any random Tiger holding the leather, they will all look for El Granada to bail them out. In the last Philippine Cup, there were times when David was scorching hot but instead of him taking the game changer, it was Willie Miller who unloads the clutch play. Whether you hate Miller or love him, he earned that right to attempt in the dying seconds because after all, he is a two-time MVP. This is why in my previous PBA-related post I had David exchanging clubs with Mercado.
But now you have three of them… in one team.
By the way, GlobalPort has also enlisted the services of Cebuano spitfire Reed Juntilla in the offseason as if their offensive firepower isn’t enough.
Again don’t fret Meralco fans. Ryan Gregorio chose Cardona and Captain Hook is not a bad choice. Cardona when forced can pile of 20+ points in an instant and is also an underrated all-around player (he is third in his team in assists). There were reports that Cardona is bound to go to Air21 but those rumors are baseless considering the Bolts offered Ronjay Buenafe instead of Cardona.
And by the way, the Bolts are still with Buenafe – a high volume scorer despite playing time constraints. It was only last season that the former EAC General averaged in single digits (he played for Rain or Shine who at that time saw the entry of Paul Lee and the rise of Jeff Chan). And if and when the Meralco-Air21 trade pushes through, the team could have the much improved John Wilson and the block-livid Noy Baclao… so all is not lost here.
Also, because Mercado plays the combo guard position, this could also signal the playing time rise of Chris Ross and Paul Artadi. Ross was injured much of last season but has shown that he can be an effective defender and orchestrator. Same goes for Artadi who barely played more than a quarter because Mercado was hogging the minutes. This will also give small forwards like Mark Borboran and Sunday Salvacion somewhat increased playing time but this will all depend on how Cliff Hodge, Reynel Hugnatan, and Jay-R Reyes effectiveness on helping out their import Eric Dawson.
All the accolades are centered on Solomon Mercado – last conference’s league leader in points and assists. However, you also need to check out what the Bolts got. Vic Manuel is a combo forward that can hit the shots whether they are near or far from the basket. Manuel had a string of 20-point games with GlobalPort but one thing about him is that he rarely plays well when sharing the spotlight with either David or Rabeh Al-Hussaini. In some ways I see him as a not-so-bulky version of Nelson Asaytono. Meanwhile, Rey Guevarra is like a Coke Zero version of JC Intal. In last season’s Governor’s Cup, the high riser exploded to the delight of many and while he put up decent numbers in the Philippine Cup, he could evolve under Ryan Gregorio’s tutelage. As for Josh Vanlandingham, hopefully he blossoms under RG. He has been in the league for some time now but except for a game where he got red-hot, he needs to do more. He is cross between John Arigo and Rhoel Gomez with the way he’s playing in the PBA and as a 6’4 off-guard, the last thing he needs to do is become like Brixter Encarnacion (a big guard/forward who struggled throughout his career).
For the Batang Pier, they get Mercado – a high volume combo guard just like Willie Miller – who can hit the long balls and finish strong in the lanes – just like Gary David. But aside from him the Bolts gave up two second round picks and a benchwarmer. Yousif Aljamal should be pleased that he has been let go by the MVP squad because when he played for Barako Bull, he was averaged in double figures. In some ways, he can play as the replacement of Manuel but he needs to get his confidence back (remember that his entry to TNT displaced Vic Pablo which means he could be that good). Same for JP Belencion who is in a bind at the moment because if he can’t display his talents well enough to get noticed by Junel Baculi, they he’ll likely return to the PBA D-League. Sure, people are saying that Kelly Nabong is also in the mix. Nabong is a second round shocker that gave the Bolts the much needed boost at the big man positions. Kelly is good and all but there is a reason why he is a late second rounder. He needs to prove to the league that he is not just a flash in the pan and unearth magnificent plays despite the presence of newly-acquired Japeth Aguilar, Jason Deutchman, Jondan Salvador, Romel Adducul, Alex Crisano, Bogart Raymundo, and import Justin Williams.
GlobalPort’s talent acquisitions should continue as the season wears down because I can’t really see them sticking with this kind of lineup. But for their sake, I hope these moves translate into wins. With a starting core of a defensive-minded Williams and four offense-induced players (with Japeth) should make up for an exciting GlobalPort squad. Mikee Romero has stressed that this is their time to shine and hell, maybe they can get their former stars like LA Tenorio, Chico Lanete, Jerwin Gaco, Rico Maierhofer, and Jayson Castro to join their squad… if he’s the stars really bring luck on him.
And oh yeah, Meralco got Batang Pier’s 2015 first round pick. While I can see Kiefer Ravena joining the draft, two years is a long time to seek clarity on what GlobalPort gave up. All I know is that as of now, Macmac Cardona was given more room to operate and Solomon Mercado’s workspace just got restricted.
Or maybe it’s not his but either The Thriller or El Granada?