This early, the Rookie Class of 2011 is looming to be as one of the best. Paul Lee and Chris Lutz are dynamite for their respective squads while Marcio Lassiter, Dylan Ababou, Mac Baracael, and Allein Maliksi have had flashes of brilliance.
So here’s the thing – I have two PBA Hardcourt annuals in my possession. One is the 2010-11 PBA annual and the other is the 2003-04 PBA annual. If I had information with regards to the other players then I would have placed them in but as it stood, my information is extremely limited.
I will list down the twenty best players with awesome rookie stats. Initially I was bent on putting players that were still active as of the 2010-11 season but I widened my search parameters to those that got to play in the 2003 PBA season.
I am open to expanding this a little further.
THE SCORING SYSTEM:
I used the defunct PBFANTASY equation. I altered the scoring (from PBFantasy’s 1 to 1.25) and I adjusted their stats with their minutes.
GAME STARTS NOW!
THE TOP TWENTY:
* still active
20 MIKE CORTEZ* / ALASKA (2003)
STATS: 11.4PPG – 4.4RPG – 4.2APG – 1.5SPG – 34.9MPG
A month before the 2003 PBA Draft, Tim Cone had the Cool Cat as his top pick despite the availability of Romel Adducul and Enrico Villanueva. Cortez owned Alaska’s PG’s spot and while he failed to give the Aces a championship, he did what is needed for the Aces.
19 MICK PENNISI* / RED BULL (2000)
STATS: 10.5PPG – 7.4RPG – 2.3APG – 1.7BPG – 39.2MPG
The Slick was a midseason direct hire Fil-Am by the Thunder and Yeng Guiao forced him to play big time minutes because Kerby Raymundo was banned for a season because of documents falsification. Red Bull never looked like an expansion team with him and Davonn Harp manning the paint.
18 JERRY CODINERA / PUREFOODS (1988)
STATS: 11.5PPG – 8.7RPG – 1.1APG – 1.9BPG – 32.4MPG
One of the six PABL players acquired by the expansion franchise, it didn’t took long for the former National team claim caroms and swat shots and give Purefoods Hotdogs a ton of accolades. The former UE Warrior would be the Hotdogs’ main draw at the paint until Alvin Patrimonio came to the picture.
17 JAY-R REYES* / WELCOAT (2006)
STATS: 12.5PPG – 8.9RPG – 1.1APG – 1.6BPG – 34.5MPG
Unlike past expansion squads, the Dragons never had the chance to claim a big-time frontline. They had Reyes and Jun-Jun Cabatu to man the inside which gave their opponents a field day at the paint. For what its worth for Jay-R, he made his PBA debut a jumping point for bigger things to come.
16 GABE NORWOOD* / RAIN OR SHINE (2008)
STATS: 11.5PPG – 8.0RPG – 3.3APG – 1.2SPG – 36.4MPG
No question, when Norwood came to the scene the whipping boys that was Welcoat evolved into a squad destined for greatness. Norwood might have disappointed people because he is more of a passer than a scorer but he did the damage where it mattered the most.
15 ARWIND SANTOS* / AIR21 (2006)
STATS: 14.2PPG – 8.3RPG – 0.9APG – 0.8SPG – 1.2BPG – 29.0MPG
After an impressive college and PBL career, Santos was selected second by Air21 in the 2006 PBA Draft. The rest is history – with Santos showing everyone that he can play almost any position and get the stats that other players don’t usually get.
14 RUDY HATFIELD / TANDUAY (2000)
STATS: 13.3PPG – 9.5RPG – 2.1APG – 1.0SPG – 37.6MPG
Hatfield was a walk-on applicant from the MBA’s Laguna Lakers to try his luck with Tanduay. Combining the H-Bomb with Eric Menk, Dondon Hontiveros, and Sonny Alvarado, the Rhum Masters all of a sudden got a pretty powerful squad that only citizenship issues could destroy.
13 JIMMY ALAPAG* / TALK N TEXT (2003)
STATS: 14.5PPG – 3.9RPG – 7.0APG – 0.9SPG – 37.6MPG
Drafted tenth by Talk N Text in the 2003 PBA Draft, the Phone Pals suddenly got the missing piece of their puzzle. Alapag would play great music with Asi Taulava and he was helpful in making Talk N Text title threats. Before his stint, he invited by Ron Jacobs to try out for the 2002 National Team.
12 ALVIN PATRIMONIO / PUREFOODS (1988)
STATS: 17.2PPG – 8.8RPG – 1.6APG – 1.0BPG – 33.1MPG
After finishing his PABL commitments (Swift is the product rival of Purefoods), Patrimonio debuted in mid-1988. Missing 25 of the team’s 58 games, The Captain showed people why his entry was so important. He gave the team a credible post-up scorer that has range and can impose his will on the inside.
11 ANDY SEIGLE / MOBILINE (1997)
STATS: 13.5PPG – 9.9RPG – 2.3APG – 1.7BPG – 35.4MPG
Shocked? I bet you are. In 1997, Seigle would jumpstart the Fil-Am invasion. Seigle would give the Mobiline Phone Pals an inside threat that would take out Mobiline (once called Pepsi) from the bottom of the standings. He would be the team’s poster child until the entry of Jeff Cariaso.
10 DANNY SEIGLE* / SAN MIGUEL (1999)
STATS: 19.2PPG – 7.2RPG – 2.0APG – 0.7SPG – 0.7BPG – 40.7MPG
Like his brother, Danny would excite the league in his first year. Unlike his brother though, Dynamite Danny would rather shoot and slash than bang bodies on the inside. He almost became the second Rookie MVP of the league except that Benjie Paras, the first Rookie MVP, beat him to the punch.
9 KELLY WILLIAMS* / STA. LUCIA (2006)
STATS: 17.3PPG – 9.6RPG – 1.7APG – 1.2SPG – 39.2MPG
Discovered by Chot Reyes while preparing for the 2007 FIBA-Asia Championship, Williams became the Realtors’ fourth top pick and he did not disappoint. Conferences before he gave SLR their second title, Machine Gun Kelly gave the squad a top-tier scorer that would also propel their defense.
8 NOLI LOCSIN / TONDENA (1994)
STATS: 18.5PPG – 8.8RPG – 2.9APG – 0.8SPG – 0.8BPG – 34.9MPG
Noli Locsin was Robert Jaworski’s pride and joy when his 80’s squad have either retired or moved on to other squads. Locsin might have starred the team during their dark days but as we all know, Locsin was the first right piece to Ginebra’s eventual success in the 90’s.
7 MARLOU AQUINO / GINEBRA (1996)
STATS: 17.9PPG – 9.0RPG – 1.8APG – 2.8BPG – 40.7MPG
After leading Stag Pale Pilsen in a rare PBL grand slam in 1995, The Skyscraper was picked first in the 1996 PBA Draft. With Bal David tagging alone, the Kings all of a sudden went from cellar dwellers to title hunters. Back then, Aquino was part of the league’s elite and his uninspired play has yet to be seen by Pinoy hoop lovers.
6 JOHNNY ABARRIENTOS / ALASKA (1993)
STATS: 16.1PPG – 4.8RPG – 6.6APG – 2.7SPG – 35.9MPG
For years, Abarrientos was the “Jeff” part of FEU’s Mutt and Jeff combo. When he arrived in Alaska, he proved to the critics that he can work well minus Victor Pablo. His great play made the volatile Bong Alvarez unwanted (he was traded to Sta. Lucia for Bong Hawkins) and his entry sealed the deal on what is the fourth grand slam season of the league.
5 JUN LIMPOT / STA. LUCIA (1993)
STATS: 20.6PPG – 8.1RPG – 2.3APG – 1.6BPG – 39.8MPG
In the 1993 Draft, Jun Limpot was the league’s most sought after amateur. While Sta. Lucia lost Allan Caidic to San Miguel and eventually Vergel Meneses to Swift, they have Limpot as their franchise player. His rookie season was far from disappointing as he was adjudged the Rookie of the Year at the season’s end.
4 DAVONN HARP / RED BULL (2000)
STATS: 13.8PPG – 11.2RPG – 5.2APG – 1.5BPG – 44.1MPG
While his entry here is questionable since he is a Fil-Sham, he is still part of Red Bull’s lineup. Actually Harp was part of Red Bull’s PBL lineup. After a dismal debut (he shot two airballs in his first trip to the charity stripe), The Anchor got to his groove and became the double-double magnet Yeng Guiao drooled upon.
3 ASI TAULAVA* / MOBILINE (1999)
STATS: 17.7PPG – 12.0RPG – 3.3APG – 0.8BPG – 43.1MPG
The bleached hair phenom from PBL’s Blu Detergent was heavily sought but it was Mobiline that won his services. He formed a triumvirate with Jeffrey Cariaso and Andy Seigle which was seriously feared by competitors. However while he administered pain to his foes, it was hard for him to win a title. In fact his rookie season had him crying when Bal David threw a freak halfcourt heave that eliminated the then-top seed Phone Pals in the 1999 All-Filipino Cup.
2 ERIC MENK* / TANDUAY (1999)
STATS: 20.1PPG – 13.1RPG – 2.7APG – 44.6MPG
There was a reason why Mark Telan had a bad rookie season and Chris Cantonjos’ pro game never got going. When PBL’s Stag changed names and became Tanduay, they took in a hard-working center named Eric Menk. Menk would give Alfrancis Chua a slew of titles and when the team went to the PBA, the mentor took in Menk as their direct hire Fil-Am. Menk was a monster offensively and defensively for the Rhum Masters and he could have won the MVP had not for Tanduay’s so-so 29-21 win-loss record.
1 BENJIE PARAS / SHELL (1989)
STATS: 25.8PPG – 13.0RPG – 2.1APG – 2.6BPG – 41.4MPG
There is a reason why despite the fact that San Miguel won a grand slam in 1989, the Tower of Power was the one to claim MVP honors. This is also considering that Paras was then a rookie. If you check out his numbers, they rival import numbers of this era. Paras with his big hair and goatee-less face wowed the crowds with his combined power and finesse. He also led Shell Rimula X with a runner up finish and a third-place ranking in that season. Even if Hector Calma and Ramon Fernandez were part of the Mythical Five, there is no way that they can take out Paras from his Rookie MVP destiny. In his first eight seasons, Paras would average 16 points and more.
I am willing to edit this list. If you have the rookie stats of Allan Caidic, Jojo Lastimosa, Ato Agustin, Samboy Lim, Hector Calma, and Bong Alvarez... feel free to send it to me. Hell, if you have the stats of VINTAGE stars like Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Bogs Adornado, Atoy Co, Philip Cezar, Abet Guidaben, Francis Arnaiz, Lim Eng Beng, Manny Paner, Jun Papa, Freddie Hubalde, Estoy Estrada, Danny Florencio, Larry Mumar, and the rest of the 70’s all stars, feel free to give it to me.
However, you must give me the following data to make me check out what you gave:
TOTAL ROOKIE SEASON POINTS + TOTAL ROOKIE SEASON REBOUNDS + TOTAL ROOKIE SEASON ASSISTS + TOTAL ROOKIE SEASON STEALS + TOTAL ROOKIE SEASON BLOCKS + TOTAL ROOKIE SEASON MINUTES.
Yes, I know that the pioneers do not have steals and blocks stats but maybe I can figure something out.
Anyway, for questions and comments, do log it on the comments section.