Sydman's Rookie Rankings Part 2 (PBA's Rookie Class of 2010)

Even before the Govs Cup,
Rabeh Al-Hussaini is the hands down choice for Rookie of the Year. 
  
There are 22 rookies that played in the 2010-11 PBA Season. Among the drafted that didn’t play for the teams that selected them are B-MEG’s Pari Llagas and Alaska’s Marvin Hayes. Ford Arao, Vaughn Canta, and Borgie Hermida levelled down to the D-League while Khasim Mirza’s PBA future is latched into jeopardy after Barako Bull announced its disbandment. 

Amateur team Smart-Gilas gave the PBA teams a glimpse of the talent they will bring once they applied for the draft.

And then there are still Paul Lee and the rest of the top stars that will be joining the draft in August.

With one more conference to go, here are the brightest stars of the 2010 PBA Draft


Nonoy Baclao is good, but Rabeh should have been the top pick. 




Game starts now.


I was trying to look for an Elmer Espiritu action shot.
It was hard. 

20 ELMER ESPIRITU / ALASKA (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 4)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: NOT RATED
PHILCUP: (7 games / 4.4mpg) 0.7 points, 0.4 rebounds, 0.3 blocks
COMCUP: (2 games / 3.5mpg) 0.0 points, 0.0 rebounds, 0.5 assists
In the UAAP, it was automatic for Espiritu to score ten points in a game. Who would have thought Espiritu will have a hard time scoring ten points in a season?


19 EMMERSON ORETA / TALK N TEXT (2008 / UNDRAFTED)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: NOT RATED
PHILCUP: (4 games / 2.3mpg) 1.0 points, 0.0 rebounds, 0.0 assists
COMCUP: (8 games / 2.0mpg) 1.0 points, 0.5 rebounds, 0.1 assists
He played for Smart’s Liga squad the Pampanga Buddies and has been a practice player for the squad when he got the break. He had a lot of potential back in the day and it is just great for him to at least reach the majors.


18 VAUGHN CANTA / SAN MIGUEL – BARAKO BULL (2010 / UNDRAFTED)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: NOT RATED
PHILCUP: (2 games / 9.0mpg) 1.5 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.5 steals
COMCUP: DID NOT PLAY
It shocked people that San Miguel would still have a spot for a rookie. Canta played two games before getting traded to the concluding Barako Bull franchise. Left without a team, he found himself playing in the D-League.


17 JONATHAN UYLOAN / RAIN OR SHINE (2010 / UNDRAFTED)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: NOT RATED
PHILCUP: (1 game / 4.0mpg) 0.0 points, 0.0 rebounds, 0.0 assists
COMCUP: (7 games / 5.3mpg) 0.7 points, 0.7 rebounds, 0.9 assists
He was one of those players that would be happy by just wearing a PBA jersey. However, he is in Yeng Guiao’s team where hard work and perseverance are rewarded. Expect more from him next conference.


16 VAL ACUNA / B-MEG DERBY ACE (2010 / ROUND 2, NUMBER 13)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: NOT RATED
PHILCUP: (6 games / 6.7mpg) 2.8 points, 0.7 rebounds, 0.3 assists
COMCUP: DID NOT PLAY
Acuna struggled to get minutes for the squad. The former UE Red Warrior would have wanted to claim the minutes left by James Yap when King James was in sickbay but the return of Kerby Raymundo meddled in his slim chance to score playing time.


This pic makes Hans Thiele awesome. 


15 BORGIE HERMIDA / BARAKO BULL – SMART-GILAS (2010 / ROUND 2, NUMBER 17)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: NOT RATED
PHILCUP: (6 games / 11.5mpg) 2.2 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.7 assists
COMCUP: DID NOT PLAY
Days before the draft Hermida scored a triple-double for San Beda. He finished the NCAA season before going to Barako Bull. When Barako took a leave, Hermida was asked to move to Smart-Gilas. He never saw action for the squad and Borgie found himself playing in the D-League.


14 REY GUEVARRA / AIR21-SAN MIGUEL (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 3)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: NOT RATED
PHILCUP: (14 games / 10.2mpg) 2.0 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.1 assists
COMCUP: (4 games / 5.0mpg) 0.8 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.0 assists
The former Smart-Gilas star would have rather stayed in Air21 than to go the talent-infested SMB squad. To begin with, he was barely putting up the numbers but hopefully Guevarra gets his act together... for the next season.


13 BAM GAMALINDA / MERALCO (2010 / ROUND 2, NUMBER 11)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: NOT RATED
PHILCUP: (10 games / 10.9mpg) 3.0 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.7 assists
COMCUP: (3 games / 5.7mpg) 1.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.3 blocks
Gamalinda saw great minutes in the Philippine Cup but his minutes were one of those scratched when Tony Dandridge and Champ Oguchi came aboard. Once Nelbert Omolon heals from his injury expect Gamalinda to give Bitoy his minutes.


12 JAI REYES / POWERADE (2010 / ROUND 2, NUMBER 18)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: 10
PHILCUP: (9 games / 10.3mpg) 3.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists
COMCUP: (4 games / 7.0mpg) 0.8 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists
With Powerade’s lack of decent quarterbacks, Jainamite has a place in the squad. Sure, he is moonlighting on Show Me The Manny but it is clear that he has the potential to shine. Unfortunately, Reyes would get sidelined by injury which would put him back of Powerade’s PG line. 


11 LOU GATUMBATO (2004 / UNDRAFTED) 
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: 9
PHILCUP: (4 games / 19.5mpg) 5.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists
COMCUP: (2 games / 4.5mpg) 2.5 points, 0.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists
I remember when Sweet Lou was playing for the Iloilo Megavoltz. From the looks of things, he looked like Sacramento’s Jason Williams. Well he tried to... but anyway! He was Yeng Guiao’s lucky pick when Marcy Arellano got injured in the Philippine Cup but after the trade that sent Paul Artadi to Air21, his minutes and appearances waned.


Joshua Vanlandingham ranked second in scoring
for the rookies with an 8.2 average. 


10 JIMBO AQUINO / BARANGAY GINEBRA (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 8)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: 8
PHILCUP: (16 games / 10.2mpg) 3.6 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.3 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 9.3mpg) 2.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.2 steals
Jimbo Aquino had his moments playing for the Kings in the Philippine Cup but the entry of John Wilson and Rob Labagala in the roster limited his chances to see action. It’s probably because Wilson is an off/def guard while Aquino is more of a scorer than a defender. Hopefully Uichico will give him minutes in the Governor’s Cup.


9 SHAWN WEINSTEIN / MERALCO (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 10)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: 5
PHILCUP: (12 games / 11.7mpg) 3.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists
COMCUP: (3 games / 8.0mpg) 2.7 points, 0.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists
The entry of Sol Mercado seriously disrupted his growth as a player. It also didn’t help that the import is also claiming his minutes. I doubt if Weinstein’s luck will turn around in the Governor’s Cup. He is one of those guys that would benefit in the D-League if the league was meant to develop PBA bench warmers. 


8 ROB LABAGALA / BARANGAY GINEBRA (2010 / ROUND 2, NUMBER 12)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: NOT RATED
PHILCUP: DID NOT PLAY
COMCUP: (13 games / 16.0mpg) 5.8 points, 0.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists
I was shocked when the Kings drafted him. I thought for sure they could have done better than picking another guard in their guard-loaded roster. I was even more shocked when they used him because when I didn’t see him in the Philippine Cup, I thought he was playing for the Liga Pilipinas, the ABL, or the D-League. But you know what, Jong Uichico placed his trust on him and he responded. As I have been saying, Labagala is Uichico’s Ginebra version of Joey Mente. The former UE Warrior ranked fifth in minutes for the rookies in the Commissioner’s Cup.


7 JOHN WILSON / BARANGAY GINEBRA (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 7)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: NOT RATED
PHILCUP: (4 games / 2.5mpg) 0.0 points, 0.5 rebounds, 0.3 assists
COMCUP: (16 games / 14.8mpg) 5.0 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists
This product of Jose Rizal University was a scorer and a defender and is a former NCAA MVP but sadly injuries stalled him from performing during most of the Philippine Cup. When he played in the Commish Cup, he blossomed as one of Uichico’s shock troopers. He proved his worth further by performing valuable feats in their semi final and finals series. His offense reminds me of Elmer Cabahug although he has better penetration prowess and defensive capabilities.


6 RJ JAZUL / RAIN OR SHINE (2010 / ROUND 2, NUMBER 15)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: 6
PHILCUP: (13 games / 11.7mpg) 4.5 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.8 assists
COMCUP: (10 games / 16.6mpg) 3.9 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists
In some ways, the entry of Yeng Guiao gave this former Letran Knight the avenue to shine. Sure, he was still fighting for minutes but at least his role was more pronounced. Also, the fact that he is a terrific defensive stopper holds the key for him claiming more playing time for the Elasto Painters. Now if he can reclaim his scoring prowess...


Sean Anthony needs to score more to help Powerade. 


5 JOSH VANLANDINGHAM / RAIN OR SHINE (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 5)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: 7
PHILCUP: (11 games / 10.1mpg) 3.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.4 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 16.7mpg) 8.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.6 assists
Vanlandingham started the season with no idea how to fit in the ROS system. When Yeng Guiao entered the fray, he became one of the Elasto Painters’ top scorers off the bench. With Sol Mercado playing elsewhere, and with Ronjay Buenafe and Gabe Norwood struggling to find their place in the system, Vanlandingham would be an important factor for the team’s rise to the top.


4 HANS THIELE / BARAKO BULL-MERALCO-ALASKA (2010 / UNDRAFTED)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: 3
PHILCUP: (15 games / 25.1mpg) 7.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists
COMCUP: (3 games / 4.3mpg) 0.0 points, 0.7 rebounds, 0.0 assists
Thiele’s performance shocked everyone. He was snubbed at the draft and now he is seeking vengeance. All of a sudden... Thiele became a hot commodity. This led to him being acquired by Alaska in exchange for Reynel Hugnatan. The only problem for Thiele is he will now encounter what Espiritu is experiencing at the moment and that’s at the bottom part of the Aces’ rotation. 


3 SEAN ANTHONY / POWERADE (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 6)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: 4
PHILCUP: (7 games / 24.4mpg) 9.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists
COMCUP: (9 games / 13.3mpg) 5.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists
The lowly Powerade Tigers squad is a mix of tolerable veterans and young upstarts. At the Philippine Cup, Anthony seems to be a great scorer in the mode of Danny Seigle that the Tigers severely lack. He is second in scoring for all rookies and fourth in rebounds as well. The team solely depends on Gary David so his growth is something they yearned for. However, with the entry of imports Russell Carter and Martin Zeno, his playing time dropped.


2 NONOY BACLAO / AIR21-SAN MIGUEL (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 1)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: 2
PHILCUP: (14 games / 28.1mpg) 5.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 2.5 blocks
COMCUP: (10 games / 16.1mpg) 3.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 blocks
It was a shame that San Miguel had to destroy Nonoy Baclao’s growth by bringing him to this powerhouse squad. Baclao was improving before the trade. With his minutes almost slashed in half, the current top pick struggled in his points, rebounds, and blocks. Unless they give him a more pronounced role in Petron’s rotation (SMB’s new name), Baclao would end up as a glorified version of Sam Eman.


1 RABEH AL-HUSSAINI / AIR21-SAN MIGUEL (2010 / ROUND 1, NUMBER 2)
LAST CONFERENCE RANK: 1
PHILCUP: (15 games / 31.5mpg) 17.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.9 blocks
COMCUP: (10 games / 30.8mpg) 12.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists
At this point, Rabeh is the consensus choice of becoming the 2011 PBA Rookie of the Year. While his points and rebounds dropped when he moved to San Miguel, he maintained his minutes. In hindsight, he is the only rookie to score in double figures in the Commissioner’s Cup (just like what he did in the Philippine Cup) and he did this playing alongside Jay Washington, Arwind Santos, and Alex Cabagnot. His team will sport a 6’2 import and that could only mean more playing time for the former UAAP MVP.


After the Governor’s Cup, I expect Rabeh Al-Hussaini to bag the Rookie of the Year trophy. I think Hans Thiele’s rank will go down unless Tim Cone uses him prominently in the Governor’s Cup. Rob Labagala and John Wilson will see minutes depending on the health of Enrico Villanueva and Jayjay Helterbrand while Josh Vanlandingham and RJ Jazul will continue to share minutes in the SG/SF spots. I expect Nonoy Baclao to get more minutes but I’m hoping that Sean Anthony will improve.

I think Anthony has the best chance to take out Baclao from the second spot.

Game over!

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