Sydman's Rookie Rankings Part 1 (PBA's Rookie Class of 2010)

Only 30 percent of the first rounders are averaging 20 minutes and more per game.
(Al-Hussaini, Baclao, and Anthony)


You should see what I wrote a few months back with regards to the 2010 rookie class. I never really thought they were strong... and boy was I right! You see, if you’re judging this draft by looking at ONE team and TWO particular rookies, then you’re missing out!

The third pick, Rey Guevarra, is drafted so high that it seems as if he’s headed to the Kingdom of Bust-landia. Guevarra is playing well at times but the minutes are hard to come by with Ronjay Buenafe and Wesley Gonzales manning the slasher spots. The fourth pick, Elmer Espiritu, is the recent victim of Tim Cone’s indifference to rookies. Cone is reformatting whatever skills Espiritu had while he was in college. Before joining Alaska, I don’t think Espiritu has averaged less than ten minutes a game (4.4mpg in Alaska). In a time where injuries shouldn’t happen, John Wilson saw the Philippine Cup in the sidelines playing for Barangay Ginebra. Wilson is with a team overloaded with guards and he needs to treat Jimbo Aquino as competition because if he can’t, he’s toast!

Pari Llagas had the right idea of testing the Asean Basketball League... if he would be playing for a frontline-deep squad that won’t need his services... that BMEG clearly wasn’t. He should be getting the minutes Jerwin Gaco is getting. Playing for the Philippine Patriots, he is fighting for his playing time against Junjun Cabatu and gak... Erwin Sta. Maria!

In the second round, there are a lot of keepers that could have upsides. Former San Beda Lions’ Bambam Gamalinda and Borgie Hermida could evolve to good role players. The same can be said to Val Acuna. There were a couple of undrafted players who played in the conference like San Miguel’s Vaughn Canta (now with Barako Bull), Rain or Shine’s Jonathan Uyloan, and former UAAP ace Ralph Emerson Oreta of Talk N Text. Aside from Wilson, Ford Arao and Khasim Mirza have played only one game as part of the Bolts (Mirza has been traded to Barako Bull) while it seems as if Rob Lagabala and Marvin Hayes won’t see any PBA action this season.

Thankfully, there are a bunch of rookies who managed to defy the odds and give a good account for themselves in the Philippine Cup.  

Find out who they are!

GAME STARTS NOW!!!


10 JAI REYES / POWERADE (2010 / ROUND 2, NUMBER 18)
Before getting injured, Reyes was a third string quarterback after Chico Lanete and Paolo Mendoza or Ronjay Enrile. “Jainamite” wound up with the right team as the Tigers barely missed the services of Marvin Cruz. In 9 games, Reyes scored 3.1ppg, 1.6rpg, and 1.1apg in 10.3mpg.


9 LOU GATUMBATO / AIR21 (2004 / UNDRAFTED)
Gatumbato played just four games... and yet he fared better than most of the current batch of rookies. He used his wile and speed to get the sweet graces of Yeng Guiao. During his first four games and Air21’s last four, Sweet Lou delivered 5.8ppg, 3rpg, and 3.3apg in 19.5mpg. Basically, he is the rookie leader in assists as well as number 5 in minutes and number 4 in scoring.


8 JIMBO AQUINO / BRGY. GINEBRA (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 8)
I became a fan when I saw this former San Sebastian Stag play like a winner to oust the San Beda Lions a couple of years back. Fact is, I always thought he’d be picked high in the draft and I cringed when I saw him playing in the guard-loaded Ginebra lineup. Sure, he played well granted his miniscule minutes. Perhaps there is hope for his PBA future but he needs to get more minutes! Playing in 13 games and possibly more since the Kings are still playing, Aquino norms 4.0ppg and 1.0rpg in 11.5mpg. 


7 JOSH VANLANDINGHAM / RAIN OR SHINE (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 5)
Vanlandingham and Jazul pretty much share minutes as the team’s third string shooter/slasher. His days with PBL’s Hapee was greatly missed because it seemed as if he’s too tame when he donned the Rain or Shine colors. Nonetheless, he did have his moments. In 11 games, Vanlandingham scored 3.7ppg and 1.8rpg in 10.1mpg.


6 RJ JAZUL / RAIN OR SHINE (2010 / ROUND 2, NUMBER 15)
At the start of Smart-Gilas, Jazul was a sought after talent. But with the entry of Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter, the former Letran Knight saw himself dispensable which prompted him to apply in the PBA Draft. While getting picked in middle of the second round was bad, he managed to play well despite being an undersized shooting guard. He had one good game and all in all, he’s doing well than Rey Guevarra and Elmer Espiritu. In 13 games, RJ is averaging 4.5ppg, 0.9rpg, and 0.8apg in 11.7mpg.  


5 SHAWN WEINSTEIN / MERALCO (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 10)
Drafted last in the first round, he could have been a key component in the Bolts’ roster if Chris Ross didn’t get his game going (he can also blame Chris Pacana for becoming valuable). Ryan Gregorio brought out Ross’ inner Roger Yap which made Weinstein Gregorio’s Meralco version of Chris Timberlake. In 12 starts, the Fil-Am had 3.0ppg, 1.8rpg, and 1.8apg in 11.7mpg.


4 SEAN ANTHONY / POWERADE (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 6)
Compare Powerade to Barako Bull, the Tigers have an even weaker bench. Will Antonio had to come out of retirement... and yes, their bench was that weak. This is the reason why Anthony’s growth is vital. After a great start, the sixth pick of the 2010 Draft was sidelined (he played a total of 7 games). This was when the Tigers were showing fangs. Anthony is expected to be a vital cog in the future because of his 9.3ppg, 6rpg, and 2.3apg in 24.4mpg.   


3 HANS THIELE / BARAKO BULL-MERALCO (2010 / UNDRAFTED)
When he was felt undrafted in the 2010 Draft, people thought he is not ready. If that’s the case, then why the fuck is he on top of the rookie ladder??? Playing like a weaker version of Gabby Espinas, the former UE standout almost averaged in double-doubles. But for some reason, Thiele was traded to the Meralco Bolts where his averages dipped. Still, his emergence is a welcome shock for undrafted players everywhere as he normed 7.7ppg and 6.9rpg in 25.1mpg and in 15 games.


2 NONOY BACLAO / AIR21 (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 1)
Kill me if you disagree but Baclao is the current version of Jerry Codinera. With the way he swatted shots, forced players to their weak side, and intimidated a string of baskets, he has “Defense Minister” written all over his body. Sure, his offensive awareness needs to improve but Baclao has a major upside. Given the right teacher, Baclao can improve. While I still think that he shouldn’t be the first pick overall, I believe Baclao has all the tools to become a superstar in the league. He leads the league in blocks with 2.5bpg and he posted averages of 5.6ppg, 8.6rpg, and 1.9apg in 28.1mpg.


1 RABEH AL-HUSSAINI / AIR21 (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 2)
He ranks fourth in points and eight in rebounds not just against his fellow rookies but against the best in the league. I always call Rabeh the Alvin Patrimonio to Baclao’s Codinera. While he needs to check his shot selections, there are a lot to love about his skills. Among rookies, he leads them in points, rebounds, and minutes and is second only to Baclao in blocks. He finally gave Guiao a post up threat that he sorely missed ever since Enrico Villanueva was traded to San Miguel way, way back. His offense-defense skills are a threat to every Tom, Dick, and Harry trying to embarrass him. With the way he is playing, he’s a no-brainer choice for the Rookie of the Year Award but it’s as if this is a shocker. We’ve all been saying that he should have been the top pick if we’re judging talent and how can’t we not agree since he’s been drilling 17.5ppg, 8.9rpg, 1.0apg, and 0.9bpg in 31.5mpg.


Unless Guiao decides to bench his top bigs, it’s certain that an Air21 player will win the Rookie of the Year plum. And while I’ve been praising Al-Hussaini, you just can’t count out Nonoy Baclao. I don't if Hans Thiele can find importance in Meralco's deep frontline but Sean Anthony should be important to the offensively-starved Powerade. 

If you're looking for the second part of the series, try checking this out in the semifinals of the Commissioner's Cup

The Philippine Cup is still ongoing as of this writing so maybe Aquino, Oreta, Acuna, and Wilson could play well and wow people?

Maybe Jimbo.

Not the others though.

Game over.

0 Awesome Critics:

Post a Comment