100 BEST CAREERS IN THE PBA: THE SECOND TEN (11 to 20)



Before you check out the next batch, again I suggest you to check out the guidelines. This is to calm the violent reactions I expect to unfold.

If you wonder how this system works...


Welcome to the second part of the 100 Best Careers in the PBA list. Like I said, I started from top to bottom because the highest-ranked players in this list are pretty obvious.


1 – “El Presidente” Ramon Fernandez
2 – “The Captain” Alvin Patrimonio
3 – William “Bogs” Adornado
4 – “The Pioneer” Abet Guidaben
5 – “The Living Legend” Robert Jaworski
6 – “The Triggerman” Allan Caidic
7 – “The Tower of Power” Benjie Paras
8 – “The Scholar” Philip Cezar
9 – “The Fortune Cookie” Atoy Co
10 – “The Quick Brown Fox” Ricky Brown

This will be a long read.

Are you ready for more?

Game starts now!




11 JOHNNY ABARRIENTOS
THE FLYING A 
1993 – 2010

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
1x MVP
6x Mythical Five
1x Mythical Ten
2x Finals MVP
25 Greatest Players of the PBA
5x All-Defensive Team
6x All-Star
5,000 Points
2,000 Defensive Rebounds
1,000 Assists
1,000 Steals
1,500 Free Throws Made
Top 10: Assist Average
Top 10: Free Throw Percentage
3x Season Champion: Total Assists
8x Season Champion: Total Steals

RANKED THIS HIGH:
He was the chief on-court architect of Alaska’s 1996 Grand Slam and frankly one of my favorite players of all-time. It was also in 1996 that the former FEU hotshot scored a MVP award making him the shortest player ever to win the plum. His stop and pop and fadeaway jumpers may be part of his impressive skillsets but The Flying A will make people cry with his precision playmaking and shackling defense. He led the league in steals per season eight times! His skills were so good that he almost played for the NBA via the Charlotte Hornets.

RANKED THIS LOW:
The importance of Tim Cone really kicks in especially when it comes to Johnny A. He found success playing for him and his career deteriorated when he left the squad. Actually his career declined even before he left Alaska. Suffering from some sort of depression, he was released to Pop Cola where his career got some sort of stride under former Alaska assistant coach Chot Reyes. His scoring never reached double-digits again though and he ended his career as a seldom-used point guard in Ginebra. 




12 JERRY CODINERA
DEFENSE MINISTER
1988 – 2005

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
3x Mythical Five
5x Mythical Ten
2x Best Player of the Conference
2x Finals MVP
25 Greatest Players of the PBA
Almost played in the 1986 Madrid FIBA World Championship 
1x Defensive Player of the Year
9x All-Defensive Team
11x All-Star
10,000 Points
2,000 Defensive Rebounds
2,000 Offensive Rebounds
1,000 Blocks 
2,000 Free Throws Made
Top 10: Rebounds Average
1x Season Champion: Total Defensive Rebounds
1x Season Champion: Total Offensive Rebounds
3x Season Champion: Total Rebounds
3x Season Champion: Total Blocks

RANKED THIS HIGH:
Codinera is one of the best offense-defense players to ever hit the league even if he just played second fiddle for Alvin Patrimonio in Purefoods. Sure, he averaged in double figures in his first decade with the league but defense is his forte. He was a poster child for swats in that era and was a 9-time All-Defensive Team member. He was also part of the All-Star Team eleven times.  

RANKED THIS LOW:
He is the highest-ranked player in the list that never won a MVP award. He almost won the MVP once but he lost to teammate Alvin Patrimonio. The ironic thing here is that when he got separated with The Captain, the Defense Minister’s game fell apart. This was evident when he was traded to Mobiline for Andy Seigle and when he was sent to FedEx where he drifted out of spotlight and retired with little buzz.




13 ASI TAULAVA
THE ROCK
1999 – present

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
1x MVP
3x Mythical Five
2x Mythical Ten
1x Best Player of the Conference
1x Finals MVP
1x All-Defensive Team
2x All-Star MVP
11x All-Star
5,000 Points
2,000 Defensive Rebounds
1,000 Offensive Rebounds
1,500 Free Throws Made
Top 10: Scoring Average
Top 10: Rebounds Average
1x Season Champion: Total Points
4x Season Champion: Scoring Average
2x Season Champion: Free Throws Made
1x Season Champion: Total Defensive Rebounds
2x Season Champion: Total Offensive Rebounds
1x Season Champion: 2-Points Made
1x Season Champion: Total Blocks

RANKED THIS HIGH:
The Rock debuted as a dominant force. The Fil-Tongan rocked the nation with his bleached hair and his inside goodness. He is virtually unstoppable in the paint and this led him to various accolades locally and internationally. While playing for Talk N Text, the Lava Man won the MVP award and because of his popularity, he is now an 11-time All-Star.

RANKED THIS LOW:
He is ranked high on the list but in some ways, I think he can’t be ranked any higher... unless he’s with a winning team where he returns to his former 20-point, 11-rebound self. With his age taking its toll, maybe he needs a checklist to cash in on three achievement awards – 10,000 points, 5,000 defensive rebounds, and 2,000 offensive rebounds. Early in his career he also suffered from citizenship issues that made him miss a lot of games.




14 DANNY ILDEFONSO
THE DEMOLITION MAN
1998 – present

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
2x MVP
2x Mythical Five
3x Mythical Ten
5x Best Player of the Conference
3x Finals MVP
Rookie of the Year
1x All-Star MVP
7x All-Star
5,000 Points
2,000 Defensive Rebounds
1,000 Offensive Rebounds
1,500 Free Throws Made
Top 25: Rebounds Average
1x Season Champion: Total Defensive Rebounds
2x Season Champion: Total Offensive Rebounds
1x Season Champion: Total Rebounds
1x Season Champion: Total Assists
2x Season Champion: 2-Points Made

RANKED THIS HIGH:
He basically fed off Danny Seigle’s constant injuries to get the nod as the MVP... twice. But not to downplay his ability to play the “big” game, Ildefonso is the first and only player to win the Best Player of the Conference award five times and a Finals MVP thrice. He is a clutch player with range and has the ability to clinch crisp passes. His Raise the Roof dunk was one of the most popular taunts last decade.  

RANKED THIS LOW:
The Raise the Roof kid is lucky because in SMB’s last 90’s to early 2000’s glory days, Seigle was the prime contender for the two consecutive MVP awards. This is why people feel that Danny I. does not deserve the MVP citations despite proving his self time and again. Also, during the mid and late 2000’s, Ildefonso’s playing time is MIA because of nagging injuries.




15 WILLIE MILLER
THE THRILLER
2001 – present

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
2x MVP
3x Mythical Five
2x Mythical Ten
2x Best Player of the Conference
1x Finals MVP
1x All-Defensive Team
1x All-Star MVP
9x All-Star
5,000 Points
500 3-Points Made
Top 25: Scoring Average
Top 25: Assists Average
Top 25: 3-Point Percentage

RANKED THIS HIGH:
He was the first MVP to come from the MBA. Dubbed “The Spinner”, he transformed into “The Thriller” when he helped Red Bull claim a remarkable 2002 season. After a run with Talk N Text, he moved to Alaska where he claimed his second MVP title and cemented his status as one of the league’s best. He is a very streaky shooter that has the body to post up and the athleticism to split the defense.

RANKED THIS LOW:
Willie Miller is a heat magnet because of his jolliness – just ask Rosell Ellis and Diamon Simpson. He is a future hall of famer despite this... with his two MVP’s to spite his critics. He needs to shore up his achievements though. With his playing style, some of the records he could break are 10,000 points, 2,000 assists, and maybe 1,500 free throws.




16 JOJO LASTIMOSA
JOLAS
1988 – 2002

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
3x Mythical Five
3x Mythical Ten
1x Finals MVP
Rookie of the Year
25 Greatest Players of the PBA
1x All-Defensive Team
1x All-Star MVP
8x All-Star
10,000 Points
2,000 Assists
500 Steals
500 3-Points Made
2,000 Free Throws Made
Top 25: Scoring Average
Top 10: Free Throw Percentage
1x Season Champion: Free Throws Made

RANKED THIS HIGH:
Dubbed The Fourth Quarter Man because he raises his game a notch during the payoff period, he is one of the beloved players of his era. He started out as a high-flying dunker at Purefoods but then he switched gears and became a sweet-shooting clutch performer. One of his most important exploits was when he engineered the 1996 Grand Slam.

RANKED THIS LOW:
Jolas played behind Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codinera at Purefoods. When he was in Alaska, he played behind Johnny Abarrientos and Bong Hawkins. The entry of Jeffrey Cariaso and eventually Kenneth Duremdes will also take a gander of Jolas’ touches. He will be then shipped to the Pop Cola Panthers where his numbers diminished. When he returned to the Aces, he just saw limited action.




17 VERGEL MENESES
AERIAL VOYAGER
1992 – 2006

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
Ix MVP
2x Mythical Five
1x Mythical Ten
3x Best Player of the Conference
1x Finals MVP
Rookie of the Year
25 Greatest Players of the PBA
4x All-Star MVP
10x All-Star
Most Improved Player
5,000 Points
2,000 Assists
1,500 Free Throws Made
Top 25: Scoring Average
Top 25: Assists
2x Season Champion: Total Points
1x Season Champion: Scoring Average
1x Season Champion: 2-Points Made

RANKED THIS HIGH:
Vergel Meneses is one of the best high flyers to ever play in the PBA. Packed with a skill to soar, he can nail the shots people think are impossible. He was also a gifted passer – dropping the dime the second he sees the foes collapse on him. He is a former MVP and he holds the record for more All Star MVP’s with four. He almost took Swift/Sunkist to a grand slam in 1995.

RANKED THIS LOW:
If there was a flaw in Meneses’ career, it has to be that he was a journeyman. He was the main man of every squad he’s on but this streak ended when he went to Ginebra. In his final year with the squad, he met a rookie that upstaged him from the Kings’ SG spot. That rookie is Mark Caguioa. After the Ginebra stint, he had his moments in FedEx but his career went downhill afterwards.




18 FRANCIS ARNAIZ
MR. CLUTCH
1975 – 86

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
3x Mythical Five
Hall of Fame
Played in the 1974 Puerto Rico FIBA World Championship 
25 Greatest Players of the PBA
10,000 Points
2,000 Assists
1,500 Free Throws Made
Top 10: Scoring Average
Top 25: Assists
1x Season Champion: Total Assists
1x Season Champion: 3-Points Made

RANKED THIS HIGH:
Francis Arnaiz is a revered presence in Toyota and Ginebra. He is one of those players that can wheel and deal shots no matter the time and situation. He can hit the long toms and sink in the driving layups. When placed in a bind, he can ably feed the ball to teammates Robert Jaworski or Ramon Fernandez. His Mr. Clutch moniker suits him perfectly. 

RANKED THIS LOW:
I wonder if he’s not part of the Toyota franchise. I wonder if he’s not with Robert Jaworski at Ginebra. Fact is, Arnaiz had the talent to lead a team but he chose to play second fiddle for Jawo (third if you count his Toyota stint where there is also Ramon Fernandez). Also, he is more of a backcourt person which eliminates him from grabbing other stats to further pad his legacy.




19 NELSON ASAYTONO
THE BULL
1989 – 2006

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
3x Mythical Five
4x Mythical Ten
2x Best Player of the Conference
9x All-Star
10,000 Points
2,000 Defensive Rebounds
1,000 Offensive Rebounds
2,000 Free Throws Made
Top 25: Scoring Average
Top 25: Free Throw Percentage
3x Season Champion: Total Points
1x Season Champion: Scoring Average
2x Season Champion: 3-Points Made
2x Season Champion: Free Throws Made
1x Season Champion: Total Defensive Rebounds

RANKED THIS HIGH:
There is a reason why Nelson Asaytono is called The Bull. Do you remember that commercial? The former UM Hawk is a bully inside the shaded area and during his time he can maul people and making them pay for scoring or defending against him. Do you remember when he was the lone scoring threat of San Miguel where almost had a 30-point average? If you don’t, maybe it’s because you remember when him and Meneses were leading the Swift/Sunkist squad to a lot of championships!

RANKED THIS LOW:
Asaytono despite not getting enough recognition is high on this list because he was that good. He lacks the respect of the award-giving bodies though. He lost two MVP races to Alvin Patrimonio and he was snubbed at the 25 Greatest Players ceremony. In his later years, he fell victim to the rise of the Fil-Ams which robbed him of his inside game and made him rely on his three point shot more. In his later years in the PBA he was more of Red Bull’s sub guy. 




20 ERIC MENK
MAJOR PAIN
1999 – present

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
1x MVP
1x Mythical Five
1x Mythical Ten
3x Best Player of the Conference
3x Finals MVP
1x All-Defensive Team
9x All-Star
5,000 Points
2,000 Defensive Rebounds
1,000 Offensive Rebounds
1,500 Free Throws Made
Top 25: Scoring Average
Top 10: Rebounding Average
2x Season Champion: Scoring Average
1x Season Champion: Free Throws Made
1x Season Champion: Total Defensive Rebounds
2x Season Champion: Total Offensive Rebounds
2x Season Champion: Total Rebounds
1x Season Champion: 2-Points Made

RANKED THIS HIGH:
When Tanduay Rhum returned to the PBA, they brought Eric Menk with them. Major Pain as he was called quickly made an impression as a blue-collared workhorse that has the strength of a bear and the flight of an eagle (Bravestarr!). The smooth operator was then traded to Ginebra where he became a crowd favorite and won himself his only MVP title.

RANKED THIS LOW:
He is nearing retirement and the awesomeness has faded. And if you backtrack on his achievements a bit, you’ll find that he could have done more had not for the citizenship issues. Just like any other Fil-Am, Menk suffered on this ordeal and maybe by this time he could have had 10,000 points and 5,000 defensive rebounds. Also, he hasn’t had a complete season for quite a while with all the injuries he has suffered.


Numbers 11 to 20 is a combination of Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers. Four of the ten players who made it this far didn’t have MVP citations but did quite enough to force their way to this point.

Like I said, this is the best career list and perhaps you can imagine if Jerry Codinera remained a Hotdog throughout his career, Francis Arnaiz tested other teams, or Vergel Meneses sticking to one squad.

Like I said, I suggest you really read my criterion if ever you have violent reactions with this list.

Until the next ten...

GAME OVER!

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