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Welcome to my first individual power rankings of the PBA’s 35th season. For those of you who know how this works, this is a bi-weekly countdown where I will count down the best player of the conference. I changed the name so that it would be more awesome.

Last Philippine Cup, Macmac Cardona and Arwind Santos went neck-to-neck before the Air21 Express (now BK Whoppers) were eliminated. The new runner-up Willie Miller emerged as the BPC winner (I scored it in favor of Cardona).

Let’s see how things will turn out this season.

25 SMB: DORIAN PENA – Injuries to Danny Ildefonso and Danny Seigle gave the Big Dawg extended minutes. The Beermen lack ceiling with Mick Pennisi and Sam Eman as the only 6’6 and over players, that’s why the durable Pena is getting more playing time.
STATS: 25.7mpg (3games) – 8.3ppg, 11.7rpg, 1.0spg, 0.7bpg & 1.0tpg

24 BK: JR QUINAHAN – Baby Shaq is taking over at the expense of Japeth Aguilar. Good for him because I thought last year was a great season for the UV Lancer. However, Beau Belga and Richard Yee are aching to take away his top spot. JQ can’t be complacent.
STATS: 27.0mpg (4games) – 8.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3bpg & 1.3tpg

23 ALA: JOE DEVANCE – The Speaker of the House debuts at this spot because while his team is playing well, Reynel Hugnatan is taking away his minutes. Add the fact that he could be sidelined due to bruised ribs… he needs to create impact soon and he actually could do such.
STATS: 28.3mpg (4games) – 10.0ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.8apg, 0.8bpg & 1.3tpg

22 TNT: ALI PEEK – The Man-Mountain is inconsistent. But when Peek has his game face on, imagine the benefits TNT reaps. Last Sunday, he blasted 6 of SLR’s shots off to the opposite side of their basket! Peek may be old… but who cares with the way he’s been playing.
STATS: 25.3mpg (3games) – 8.3ppg, 6.0rpg, 3.0bpg & 1.0tpg

21 BK: RONJAY BUENAFE – Gary David has been struggling as of late and it looks like Buenafe’s entry is meant to ease out Gary D (I wish I was wrong here). Anyway, Buenafe had a tremendous showing in their wins which means he’s the barometer of BK’s win-loss record.
STATS: 26.3mpg (4games) – 15.3ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.8apg, 1.5spg & 1.8tpg


WAIT! I strategically placed the criteria of the rank in this spot so you can READ it.
Just like in the PBFANTASY, the multiplier for points is 1, 1.5 for rebounds, 2 for assists, and 2.5 for steals and blocks. Now these five stat categories would be summed up. But we also have to factor in their minutes played and turnovers per game. Basically the equation here is:


Why did I repeat the five main stats? The only thing I could think of is it doesn’t look pretty if you are seeing 0.1364645858.

The WINS and LOSSES are also important here because WINS are worth an additional THREE points but LOSSES give you a mere ONE point. DNP’s, regardless of how your team fares, is equivalent to a big, fat nada.

Included in the list are the players that played more than two games.


20 TNT: MACMAC CARDONA – Captain Hook is slowly suffering the effects of the extended minutes of Jason Castro. Despite this, Cardona continues to give the Texters awesome numbers. And it’s not as if TNT is in dire need to use him. They are currently riding a three-game surge.
STATS: 29.0mpg (3games) – 19.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg & 3.0tpg

19 SMA: JAPETH AGUILAR – The great thing BK did to piss Aguilar’s career was to make him play a game for them (since he’ll be joining a guest team which will disappear in the near future, this makes a Top Rookie award impossible). Anyway, he is the only consistent big man in the talent-depleted RP squad… although he leads the league in turnovers.
STATS: 35.5mpg (4games) – 12.3ppg, 10.0rpg, 1.5apg, 2.5bpg & 4.5tpg

18 BK: CHICO LANETE – If there’s one good thing the “Wynne Arboleda fisticuffs” brought BK, it’s the fact that they are lucky to acquire Balboa. He was about to sign to the ABL’s Philippine Patriots when the offer arouse. He is currently the main PG of the lineup.
STATS: 26.0mpg (4games) – 11.3ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.8apg, 2.5spg & 2.3tpg

17 SLR: JOSEPH YEO – The departure of Denok Miranda gave the Ninja a ticket to the starting unit. He then grabbed the spot and gave Boyet Fernandez a ferocious backcourt duo (alongside Ryan Reyes) that could defend and shoot. Yeo is having career minutes and assists this season.
STATS: 34.7mpg (3games) – 14.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 6.0apg & 4.0tpg

16 ROS: GABE NORWOOD – He is the first guy in the list that is playing for a winless squad. Most of ROS’ losses are heartbreakers and they are lacking an offensive presence to lead them in crunch. Norwood is not doing enough for his team to get the W’s. He needs to do this ASAP!
STATS: 38.0mpg (3games) – 13.7ppg, 7.0rpg, 4.0apg, 2.0spg & 3.7tpg


The rookie race? Here are the leaders:

1) Rico Maierhofer (PUR), 2) Jervy Cruz (ROS), 3) Ogie Menor (BB), 4) Chris Ross (COK), 5) Marcy Arellano (ROS), 6) Josh Urbiztondo (SLR), 7) Ronnie Matias (BK), 8) Mike Burtscher (ALA), 9) Benedict Fernandez (BB), 10) Bryan Faundo (BB).


15 SLR: GABBY ESPINAS – When he left Barako Bull, gone were the days where his talent is wasted. Now, he comes to a system where defense is vital. Espinas has been claiming double-doubles for three straight games now!
STATS: 36.3mpg (3games) – 14.3ppg, 12.7rpg & 3.0tpg

14 ALA: REYNEL HUGNATAN – Against Ginebra, he dominated. He grabbed 8 rebounds to go with his 20 markers and played heavy minutes with Sonny Thoss struggling. For a person who comes off the bench, his game is a welcome sight... only for his teammates.
STATS: 24.0mpg (4 games) – 15.0ppg, 6.5rpg, 2.0apg & 3.0tpg

13 SLR: RYAN REYES – Coming from an injury-plagued season, Reyes blossomed in his first two games. He is currently tied with Arwind Santos in terms of steals per game. However against TNT, he suffered a mild injury. Will this affect his gameplay?
STATS: 32.3mpg (3games) – 13.3ppg, 4.3rpg, 2.7apg, 3.0spg & 1.0tpg

12 PUR: JAMES YAP – Big Game James debuts near the top ten after impressive shooting performances against Ginebra and Barako Bull. And just like Kelly Williams, he has a “1” in his every stat which is an improvement from his outcomes last year.
STATS: 33.7mpg (3games) – 16.7ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, 1.0bpg & 3.0tpg

11 SMA: MARK BAROCCA – If his stats were posted via winning games then he could have been in the Top 5... but no. Team Gilas has been listless since the BK match and the only bright spot is the FEU standout. He almost had a triple-double in his second game and posted big numbers duelling against Jayjay Helterbrand.
STATS: 28.7mpg (3games) – 13.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 7.7apg, 1.3spg & 2.3tpg


Before we see the Top 10, let’s look at the players that almost made the list:



10 TNT: JASON CASTRO – The guards of TNT are extremely dangerous and Castro is no different. The press corps awardee could play both guard positions with relative ease. He is a help by either passing or hitting the shots that could kill runs.
STATS: 25.0mpg (3games) – 12.7ppg, 5.7rpg, 3.7apg, 1.7spg & 2.3tpg

9 PUR: KERBY RAYMUNDO – This Abet Guidaben play-alike is yeah, turnover prone but when he gets into a zone, be wary of him. To date, he’s averaging a double-double. Except for the Ginebra game, everything he’s been doing has been solid.
STATS: 33.3mpg (3games) – 14.0ppg, 10.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0bpg & 4.3tpg

8 ALA: LA TENORIO – The third Ace in the Top 10 is currently the team’s scoring leader. He is a consistent performer for the squad. And while he needs to dish more assists and control his TO’s, Expect Flying LA to be instrumental in Alaska’s wins.
STATS: 33.0mpg (4 games) – 16.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.0apg, 1.0spg & 1.3tpg

7 GIN: RONALD TUBID – Wow! With the absence of Caguioa and Junthy Valenzuela and the current state of Cyrus Baguio’s game, Tubid has evolved to become a superb scoring threat. Also, his rebounding, turnovers and defense are in exceptional conditions!
STATS: 31.0mpg (4games) – 17.5ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.8apg, 0.8spg & 0.8tpg

6 ALA: TONY DELA CRUZ – SURPRISE! Many might be wondering about his rank but don’t. You see, while people focus on Alaska’s top guys, we forget that TDC is an awesome force. He might not score high, but he is freakin’ effective when he plays! If you don’t believe me, check out Alaska’s win-loss card (1 turnover in 4 games!).
STATS: 30.8mpg (4 games) – 9.0ppg, 7.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.8spg, 0.8bpg & 0.3tpg


Before we dish out the Top 5, here are the scoring leaders (2 games and higher).

1) Macmac Cardona (TNT), 2) Jayjay Helterbrand (GIN), 3) JV Casio (SMA), 4) Ronald Tubid (GIN), 5) Arwind Santos (SMB), 6) Kelly Williams (SLR), 7) James Yap (PUR), 8) LA Tenorio (ALA), 9) Willie Miller (ALA), 10) Ronjay Buenafe (BK).


5 TNT: JIMMY ALAPAG – Hey, here’s a representative from the OTHER undefeated team! He was actually at number 7 but I had to move him in the top five because hey if you’re Chot Reyes and you’re enjoying a damn big lead, will you risk playing the league’s current assist leader when the outcome has already been decided? I don’t think so.
STATS: 29.3mpg (3 games) – 11.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 8.0apg & 2.7tpg

4 GIN: JAYJAY HELTERBRAND – In his first few games he thought his job would be easier with the return of Menk and Caguioa. With both injured, the reigning MVP had no choice but to triple his efforts. He is second in league scoring and is third in the league in assists. How awesome is he!!!
STATS: 34.3mpg (4 games) – 18.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 7.3apg & 3.8tpg

3 ALA: WILLIE MILLER – The Thriller has two sides: he could either be explosive... or he could freaking phenomenal. While he often blows hot and cold, Alaska has yet to lose and you could blame him for this. And yeah, he posted the first triple-double of the season.
STATS: 33.8mpg (4games) – 16.0ppg, 9.0rpg, 4.8apg & 2.8tpg

2 SMB: ARWIND SANTOS – Yeah, while the guy gave a subpar debut and an improvement in his second game, the Beermen are still winless. And then they fought his former team... where he exploded! 28 points and 18 rebounds is awesome especially if you look at his minutes!
STATS: 29.3mpg (3games) – 17.3ppg, 13.7rpg, 0.7apg, 3.0spg, 1.0bpg & 1.3tpg

1 SLR: KELLY WILLIAMS – While his face is still bloated, he has been his same destructive self. Given that the blood disorder could be disrupting his game, he has managed to take it out in his “gaming” condition. Except for a subpar scoring night against the Texters, Machine Gun Kelly was unstoppable in his first two outings, leading his team to victory! He has a “1” in every stat and he leads the league in minutes.
STATS: 41.7mpg (3games) – 17.0ppg, 13.0rpg, 3.0apg, 2.3spg, 1.0bpg & 2.0tpg

The rankings will return after two weeks. Until then…

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