2010-11 PBA Season: Race to the MVP



The season is turning out to be a memorable one for the Talk N Text Tropang Texters. The last time a PBA team had a chance to win it all was in 1998 when the Alaska Milkmen won the All-Filipino Conference and the Commissioner’s Cup. The team had the chance to win it all but they sacrificed their chances to loan Tim Cone, Johnny Abarrientos, Jojo Lastimosa, Bong Hawkins, and Kenneth Duremdes to the Centennial Dream Team.

While missing out on a second grand slam, Kenneth Duremdes still ended up as the league’s MVP.

And if and when Talk N Text even gets to the semifinals of the Governor’s Cup, expect a TNT player to win the MVP.

Word.


HOW THE STATS WERE TABULATED

The PBFANTASY rules apply but I also made use of how they fare with the minutes they were getting and the turnovers they are acquiring. But I guess the most important part of the tabulations is the games the top players played.

The league has yet to give the MVP award to a player who didn’t play in any of the conference finals. Reigning MVP James Yap played 64 games in the 2009-10 PBA Season. Barako Bull, the worst team in that season only played 36 games – which is basically the total number of games Barako Bull was booted out in both elimination rounds (back then it was still the Philippine and the Fiesta Cups). Unlike in the NBA, the league combines all phases of the conference. This includes the elimination round, the wildcards, the quarterfinals, the semis, and the finals. With the return of the three-conference format, elimination rounds will be shortened and the number of teams advancing to the next round will be lessened.

In this conference, this is the number of games your favourite teams played:

1 TALK N TEXT – 45 (2 finals appearances)
2 GINEBRA – 45 (1 finals and 1 semis stints)
3 SAN MIGUEL (now PETRON) – 36 (1 finals stint)
4 BMEG – 31 (1 semis stint)
5 AIR21 – 30 (1 semis stint)
6 ALASKA – 29
7 RAIN OR SHNE – 27
8 MERALCO – 25
9 POWERADE – 23
10 BARAKO BULL – 14
11 SMART-GILAS – 13*  

* The elimination round of the Philippine Cup is 14 games while the elim round of the Commish Cup is a mere 9 games.

The reason why Talk N Text and Ginebra have the exact same games despite having different fates is that the Tropang Texters used the outright semis berth reward in both conferences while Ginebra had to claw their way for obscurity to register a good amount for their selves.

And just like in previous conferences, the All-Filipino Conference trump the import-laden ones.

Game starts now!

OUTSIDE THE TOP TWENTY:

50 REED JUNTILLA / BARAKO BULL – MERALCO – AIR21
PHILCUP: (17 games / 23.8mpg) 9.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists
COMCUP: (13 games / 13.2mpg) 3.9 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists


49 JOSH URBIZTONDO / AIR21
PHILCUP: (15 games / 17.0mpg) 4.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists
COMCUP: (15 games / 17.5mpg) 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists


48 ASI TAULAVA / MERALCO
PHILCUP: (14 games / 21.6mpg) 7.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 25.7mpg) 8.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.6 assists


47 SUNDAY SALVACION / BARAKO BULL – SAN MIGUEL
PHILCUP: (27 games / 21.6mpg) 9.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 11.0mpg) 4.0 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.6 assists


46 NINO CANALETA / BMEG
PHILCUP: (21 games / 18.2mpg) 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 29.1mpg) 10.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.7 assists


45 WYNNE ARBOLEDA / AIR21
PHILCUP: (15 games / 22.2mpg) 5.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.3 steals
COMCUP: (15 games / 19.7mpg) 6.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals


44 RICO MAIERHOFER / BMEG
PHILCUP: (21 games / 23.9mpg) 7.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 blocks
COMCUP: (2 games / 7.5mpg) 0.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.0 assists


43 MARK ISIP / BARAKO BULL – MERALCO
PHILCUP: (17 games / 29.1mpg) 14.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists
COMCUP: (7 games / 12.9mpg) 3.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.1 assists


42 TONY DELA CRUZ / ALASKA
PHILCUP: (17 games / 31.6mpg) 9.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals
COMCUP: (12 games / 24.0mpg) 5.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steals


41 MARC PINGRIS / BMEG
PHILCUP: (12 games / 26.8mpg) 6.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 35.6mpg) 12.4 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 steals


40 RONJAY BUENAFE / AIR21 – RAIN OR SHINE
PHILCUP: (15 games / 29.6mpg) 17.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals
COMCUP: (12 games / 13.8mpg) 6.3 points, 0.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists


39 DANNY ILDEFONSO / SAN MIGUEL
PHILCUP: (23 games / 21.7mpg) 7.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 21.0mpg) 5.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists


38 ENRICO VILLANUEVA / GINEBRA
PHILCUP: (23 games / 20.7mpg) 7.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists
COMCUP: (8 games / 12.1mpg) 4.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists  


37 DOUG KRAMER / RAIN OR SHINE
PHILCUP: (15 games / 22.1mpg) 8.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists
COMCUP: (12 games / 23.8mpg) 8.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists


36 LARRY RODRIGUEZ / RAIN OR SHINE
PHILCUP: (15 games / 21.5mpg) 9.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists
COMCUP: (12 games / 25.8mpg) 11.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 blocks


35 JONAS VILLANUEVA / BMEG
PHILCUP: (22 games / 27.4mpg) 10.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals
COMCUP: (6 games / 28.5mpg) 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists


34 DORIAN PENA / SAN MIGUEL – AIR21
PHILCUP: (25 games / 18.5mpg) 4.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 0.5 assists
COMCUP: (14 games / 25.2mpg) 4.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 0.7 assists


33 JAY-R REYES / RAIN OR SHINE – AIR21 (OR ALASKA UNLESS APPROVED)
PHILCUP: (14 games / 25.6mpg) 9.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists
COMCUP: (15 games / 24.0mpg) 7.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks


32 ROGER YAP / BMEG
PHILCUP: (21 games / 30.6mpg) 7.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.2 steals
COMCUP: (9 games / 26.6mpg) 6.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists


31 GABBY ESPINAS / MERALCO
PHILCUP: (15 games / 32.3mpg) 14.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 31.7mpg) 9.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists


30 CHRIS ROSS / MERALCO
PHILCUP: (16 games / 35.8mpg) 9.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 2.4 steals
COMCUP: (9 games / 26.7mpg) 4.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.3 steals  


29 SOLOMON MERCADO / RAIN OR SHINE – MERALCO
PHILCUP: (12 games / 35.5mpg) 16.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.0 steals
COMCUP: (9 games / 35.0mpg) 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists


28 GABE NORWOOD / RAIN OR SHINE
PHILCUP: (15 games / 35.7mpg) 11.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.1 steals
COMCUP: (12 games / 28.4mpg) 9.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists


27 RANIDEL DE OCAMPO / TALK N TEXT
PHILCUP: (16 games / 20.1mpg) 9.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists
COMCUP: (18 games / 24.1mpg) 13.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists


26 MIKE CORTEZ / GINEBRA
PHILCUP: (23 games / 21.7mpg) 7.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists
COMCUP: (22 games / 28.3mpg) 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists


25 LARRY FONACIER / TALK N TEXT
PHILCUP: (27 games / 25.7mpg) 9.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists
COMCUP: (18 games / 24.7mpg) 7.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists


24 DANNY SEIGLE / SAN MIGUEL – AIR21
PHILCUP: (21 games / 17.4mpg) 9.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.9 assists
COMCUP: (13 games / 31.9mpg) 14.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 blocks


23 RABEH AL-HUSSAINI / AIR21 – SAN MIGUEL
PHILCUP: (15 games / 31.5mpg) 17.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists
COMCUP: (10 games / 30.8mpg) 12.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists


22 CYRUS BAGUIO / ALASKA
PHILCUP: (17 games / 36.1mpg) 13.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.2 steals
COMCUP: (12 games / 32.5mpg) 11.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.3 steals


21 JAMES YAP / BMEG
PHILCUP: (22 games / 35.6mpg) 17.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists
COMCUP: (5 games / 34.8mpg) 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists


THE TOP TWENTY


20 PETER JUNE SIMON / BMEG
PHILCUP: (21 games / 33.3mpg) 18.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 33.2mpg) 17.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists
In the Philippine Cup he was the person helping James Yap in the scoring chores. In the Commissioner’s Cup, he was the one helping recently reactivated Kerby Raymundo and Marc Pingris with King James sidelined because of injury. The Double Apostle was spectacular in delivering the goods and he is the constant thing working for the Llamados in this season.


19 ALEX CABAGNOT / SAN MIGUEL
PHILCUP: (26 games / 26.8mpg) 9.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 29.2mpg) 9.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.4 blocks
At the heels of enjoying his first year with the squad, Cabagnot was San Miguel’s most excellent force especially when the game is on the line. It was amazing to see Cabagnot finishing the matches with his buzzer-beating shots. However in the Commissioner’s Cup, his offense was almost non-existent as the Beermen finished at the bottom of the heap.


18 RYAN REYES / TALK N TEXT
PHILCUP: (23 games / 27.8mpg) 10.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals
COMCUP: (18 games / 25.4mpg) 7.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals
He is a combo guard. He doesn’t get a lot of minutes but he sees to it that when he does, he’ll give hell on his foes. He was one of the reasons why the Tropang Texters won the Philippine Cup. After the death of his brother, he played inspired ball. While he was still dependable in the Commissioner’s Cup Finals, he took a backseat to the Jimmy Alapag-Jason Castro combo.


17 LA TENORIO / ALASKA
PHILCUP: (17 games / 35.9mpg) 11.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.2 steals
COMCUP: (12 games / 34.4mpg) 17.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.3 steals
In the elimination round, he often finds success. Last season he was one of the favourites to covet the MVP trophy. However unlike last season, the Aces have yet to reach the finals. Tenorio had a somewhat weak Philippine Cup but he followed the feat with an impressive Commissioner’s Cup showing. The problem with Lieutenant LA though is that both appearances failed to land the squad past the quarterfinals.


16 SONNY THOSS / ALASKA
PHILCUP: (17 games / 31.3mpg) 12.2 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 blocks
COMCUP: (12 games / 33.6mpg) 9.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.3 blocks
This season perhaps is Thoss’ best. In both the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cups, Thoss the Boss was hailed as a double-double magnet. Playing a key role because of the small imports, this is the first time that Thoss averaged 30 minutes in consecutive conferences. Expect more from Thoss in the Governor’s Cup to exploit teams with 6’4 or less imports.


15 GARY DAVID / POWERADE
PHILCUP: (14 games / 36.1mpg) 21.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 35.8mpg) 23.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists
Mr. Pure Energy is the best offensive performer in the Philippine Cup as well as the Commissioner’s Cup. The Tigers live and die with his exploits. The problem is he just can’t find offensive help from his teammates. For some insane reason, the defenders are willing to elude him of the double team as long as he won’t have a clear view of his teammates. This ploy often materializes to success.


14 MACMAC CARDONA / MERALCO
PHILCUP: (14 games / 35.4mpg) 21.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 35.2mpg) 15.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.6 steals
He was sent to the Bolts so that Ryan Gregorio will have a James Yap-like figure in his squad to mimic his B-Meg setup. Macmac Cardona was the main man but even with his high-scoring averages he struggled in making his shots. In the Commish Cup, Sol Mercado was sent to pair up with him and with the fear of getting bumped off by the Sol Train... he had no choice but exert more effort.


13 RONALD TUBID / GINEBRA
PHILCUP: (23 games / 28.9mpg) 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists
COMCUP: (22 games / 25.5mpg) 7.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists
While Ronald Tubid played less and was virtually trounced by John Wilson in Ginebra’s championship series with Talk N Text in the Commissioner’s Cup, Tubid was otherwise magnificent this season. He is a key offensive option in the Philippine Cup and was a major contributor in the elimination phase of the Commish Cup. He’ll surely benefit in the Governor’s Cup because of the small imports.


12 KELLY WILLIAMS / TALK N TEXT
PHILCUP: (25 games / 28.5mpg) 9.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists
COMCUP: (18 games / 25.9mpg) 9.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 0.9 steals
Scoring-wise this is not the Kelly Williams of old. However, Machine Gun Kelly continues to be a force in the paint. He can still play above the rim or convert jump shots into deuces. He may be at times missing in both of their championship runs this season, Kelly’s presence alone makes him a very dangerous performer to neglect.


11 JASON CASTRO / TALK N TEXT
PHILCUP: (27 games / 24.2mpg) 11.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists
COMCUP: (15 games / 25.2mpg) 10.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals
At times it seems as if he is merely Jimmy Alapag’s backup. However let it be known that call him that and he will burn you in any way possible. He can score, defend, and orchestrate. Not only is he a championship magnet, but Castro is well-known to become vicious during the playoffs and in the finals. Alongside Jimmy Alapag, he is a 2-time Finals MVP... this season just like when he was in Harbour Centre.


10 HARVEY CAREY / TALK N TEXT
PHILCUP: (27 games / 26.9mpg) 10.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists
COMCUP: (18 games / 16.8mpg) 5.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists
While he didn’t have a terrific Commissioner’s Cup, he did have a monstrous All-Filipino Conference. Exploiting Kelly Williams’ injury, he responded well and finished the Philippine Cup as the only player to average in double-double. His playing time dropped in the Commissioner’s Cup but he still delivered respectable numbers as a key contributor off the bench.


9 DONDON HONTIVEROS / SAN MIGUEL – AIR21
PHILCUP: (27 games / 33.0mpg) 14.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists
COMCUP: (14 games / 32.9mpg) 15.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals
At the start of the season, he was the only SMB starter in the early 2000’s to still start in the team. His scoring was instrumental for the Beermen to claim runner-up honors in the Philippine Cup. All of a sudden though, he was traded to the Express. He continued his scoring spree in Air21 and was helpful in leading the Express to the semis. Expect his stock to slide though with Dondon concentrating with Smart-Gilas and will be skipping the Govs Cup.


8 WILLIE MILLER / GINEBRA
PHILCUP: (23 games / 32.5mpg) 13.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists
COMCUP: (22 games / 23.0mpg) 10.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists
At times he looks contented to be Mark Caguioa’s backup but when he is on fire he can still light up the scoreboard. His numbers are down from his past efforts but you must be insane if you think The Thriller’s 20-point games have sapped his being. With the Kings getting the handicap of a smaller import, I don’t know the fate of Miller’s minutes. His production would likely drop but I hope Miller gets the chance to fight it. 


7 ALI PEEK / TALK N TEXT
PHILCUP: (27 games / 26.5mpg) 12.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.1 blocks
COMCUP: (18 games / 22.3mpg) 8.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 0.9 blocks
You do not need to be a big time scorer to be inside this list. In Peek’s case, he dominated the paint and did his thing without thinking of the reward/punishment. After an excellent Philippine Cup, his production waned. The minutes he’s been getting, miniscule to begin with, also dwindled a bit. But the scary thing about the Man Mountain is that despite his playing time, he can still churn up those kinds of numbers! Peek will get that chance since TNT will be working with a 6’2 import. 


6 JOE DEVANCE / ALASKA (OR AIR21 UNLESS APPROVED)
PHILCUP: (17 games / 37.7mpg) 19.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 blocks
COMCUP: (12 games / 34.7mpg) 14.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.1 blocks
If you have this much production, the logical seeding for JDV is in the Top 3 bracket. However, this is not the case. The Aces have found little success this season unlike in the last season were they competed in both conferences. Devance slightly slowed down on his offense but those Commish Cup numbers are dominating. His rank could go up depending on whether or not Alaska can reach the finals of the Govs Cup but with the recent developments, I am now imagining the Seigle-Devance Air21 frontcourt duo to do monstrous things in the tourney.


5 ARWIND SANTOS / SAN MIGUEL
PHILCUP: (27 games / 35.5mpg) 15.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 blocks
COMCUP: (9 games / 32.1mpg) 12.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks
The Spiderman is his regular all-around self but it seems that he took a step back for Jay Washington to shine. What’s scary about Arwind is despite his scoring drop, he is still a dominant performer. Sure, he whenever he sees fit, he shoots the ball regardless the angle but his worst game can easily be an untalented player’s best game. Aside from J-Wash, he will battle the Talk N Text guys for the highly coveted MVP spot.


4 RUDY HATFIELD / GINEBRA
PHILCUP: (23 games / 30.5mpg) 9.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists
COMCUP: (22 games / 27.5mpg) 7.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists
Ginebra’s offense revolves around their high octane backcourt rotation. Getting points on the inside is great... but extremely scarce. Rudy Hatfield doesn’t really mind not scoring as long as he gets a significant amount of rebounds. He is the team’s most ferocious rebounder. Unfortunately for the Ginebra faithful, Hatfield is now back in the States just like what he said he’ll do when he last returned to the PBA three conferences ago.


3 JAY WASHINGTON / SAN MIGUEL
PHILCUP: (26 games / 35.7mpg) 16.6 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.2 blocks
COMCUP: (7 games / 35.4mpg) 14.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists
Leading the San Miguel Beermen to a finals stint with those numbers made a lot of heads turn to J-Wash. In their eyes, with the way he is playing, he could be the MVP of the current season. However with the dismal showing of San Miguel in the Commissioner’s Cup, Washington needs to put on a Herculean effort and send his team to the Finals and pray that TNT’s Grand Slam stint would get foiled. It would also help his cause if he cuts back on his DNP’s.


2 MARK CAGUIOA / GINEBRA
PHILCUP: (22 games / 27.7mpg) 14.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists
COMCUP: (22 games / 28.9mpg) 15.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists
He is the best non-Talk N Text guy to claim the title if and when the Kings win a Finals spot. His stats didn’t drop when the Commissioner’s Cup came and instead it flourished. Actually, he could have edge Alapag in the well-fought BPC race. This is to think that Ginebra is overloaded with offensive arsenal. With the Ginebra import being at the same position as Caguioa, Miller, and the other slashers, it will be puzzling as to how Jong Uichico would mesh his people.


1 JIMMY ALAPAG / TALK N TEXT
PHILCUP: (27 games / 32.4mpg) 14.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists
COMCUP: (18 games / 30.9mpg) 13.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists
In a team with talents overflowing, the Mighty Mouse is perceived as the center of the Tropang Texters’ success. With the way Talk N Text’s season is going, it seems as if Jimmy Alapag is bound to win the MVP trophy. He is the team’s most consistent scorer and he also hands out the sanity in the Tropa. For the second straight conference, he and Jason Castro shared Finals MVP honors. Besides that, he just won his first Best Player of the Conference award. Alapag’s performance will surely be in the spotlight as much as his team’s chase for the grand slam.


I definitely think there will be movement at the end of the season. Danny Seigle, Marc Pingris, and Kerby Raymundo have exploded in a manner that could catapult them on top of the list. When James Yap, Rico Maierhofer (?), and Rafi Reavis return from injury, they could find their selves in the list.

While it can be argued that some players have better percentages than the players on top of the list, one can’t help but wonder whether or not it is a wise idea to put the star player of a cellar-dwelling squad than a stellar contributor who was partly responsible for his team’s success.

Since this is my list, I’m going to choose the latter over the former.

By the way, the Best Player of the Conference is an automatic Mythical Five member.

So let’s check out the top guy to emerge in the Gov’s Cup.

Game over.

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