100 BEST CAREERS IN THE PBA: THE SIXTH BATCH (51 to 60)



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 sixth part of the 100 Best Careers in the PBA list. I am going to insert a random sentence so that you won’t feel that I’m just copy-pasting my opening paragraphs (but frankly I am). Like I said in my early blogs, I started from top to bottom because the highest-ranked players in this list are pretty obvious.







This will be a long read.

Are you ready for more?

Game starts now!




51 DORIAN PENA
THE FRUTTIEST NAME IN PHILIPPINE BASKETBALL
2001 – PRESENT

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
2x Mythical Five
1x Mythical Ten
2x All-Star
1x All-Defensive Team
2,000 Defensive Rebounds
1,000 Offensive Rebounds
Top 10: Rebounding Average
2x Season Champion: Total Offensive Rebounds
2x Season Champion: Total Rebounds

RANKED THIS HIGH:
He is called Big Dawg by the rest of the league but I like his other moniker better. Anyway, Pena was the wall that catapulted San Miguel to many championships in the early 2000’s. With his frame, it was hard for him to get trounced on the inside and while his rebounding is his forte, he can score when needed.

RANKED THIS LOW:
There are a lot of people weirded at the fact that he is placed this high. San Miguel won a lot of titles with him as just the “other” starter of the squad. Some say that he was carried by his SMB teammates to claim those Mythical selections. Others can’t factor in why his “Negros-Slasher-dominating-inside-scoring” left him. Basically he was just lucky to be in this spot.




52 DINDO PUMAREN
THE BULLET
1989 – 2002

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
2x Mythical Ten
10x All-Star
2x All-Defensive Team
5,000 Points
2,000 Assists
500 Steals
Top 10: Assists Average
6x Season Champion: Total Assists
1x Season Champion: Total Steals

RANKED THIS HIGH:
How fitting it was for Sev Sarmenta to coin his moniker because it was dead-on. The Bullet is a pass-first quarterback that has cat-quick reflexes for playmaking and defense. The best part of his career was played with Purefoods. Maybe aside from Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, and Rey Evangelista, maybe the Purefoods/B-Meg squad could retire his number. He is also a 10-time All-Star.

RANKED THIS LOW:
The former UE and DLSU coach was never a scorer and was merely a supplementary guy. This was evident even when he briefly played for Pepsi and was dubbed as their superstar. Pumaren was also unfortunate to get snubbed of a Mythical Five citation to give way for Johnny Abarrientos, Olsen Racela, and Al Solis.




53 RUDY DISTRITO
THE DESTROYER
1981 – 1995

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
1x Mythical Ten
3x All-Star
5,000 Points
2,000 Assists
500 Steals
1,500 Free Throws Made
Top 10: Free Throw Percentage
Top 10: 3-Point Percentage

RANKED THIS HIGH:
Everyone thinks Distrito is just a defensive-oriented guard. Well, in a way he is but obviously he is more than that. He is a smart player with an impeccable shot selection. He can also deliver in the closing seconds. He was instrumental when Ginebra climbed from a 0-3 bind to win the 1991 First Conference. He completed his career with a satisfactory 11.6ppg.

RANKED THIS LOW:
Distrito is considerably high in the list since he is a mere supplementary star if you think about it. But okay, the almost career-threatening injury he inflicted on Jeff Cariaso while playing for Swift started his hell. He was banned in the league for a span of time and Swift just waited for his contract to expire. His career got the shot in the arm when the San Juan Knights played in the MBA. And the rest? Just check out his Wiki page. 




54 NIC BELASCO
ST. NIC
1997 – 2010

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
1x Mythical Five
2x Mythical Ten
4x All-Star
1x All-Defensive Team
5,000 Points
2,000 Defensive Rebounds
1,000 Offensive Rebounds
Top 25: Rebounding Average
1x Season Champion: Total Defensive Rebounds

RANKED THIS HIGH:
Nic Belasco was the second overall pick in the 1997 PBA Draft by Pop Cola. He rose to fame with San Miguel as the upgraded version of Freddie Abuda. I said this because Belasco had Abuda’s defensive tenacity but he also had an amazing knack to unload triples. Belasco was almost a double-double magnet in the 2000’s. This made him a sought-after star.

RANKED THIS LOW:
You have to check out the last statement I made. He was too much of a sought-after star that his final six years in the league were played with six different teams. Belasco also didn’t start hot as a rookie and he was merely a substitute because people thought he was an inside presence. After his stint with Sta. Lucia where he averaged his lowest, the Fil-Am returned to the US.




55 AL SOLIS
ALO
1987 – 2001

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
2x Mythical Five
3x All-Star
5,000 Points
1,000 3-Points Made
Top 10: 3-Point Percentage
2x Season Champion: 3-Points Made

RANKED THIS HIGH:
If you check out his accolades and accomplishments, one thing that stands out is his yearning to drum a triple. Al Solis is one of the deadliest 3-point shooters in the history of the league. Initially known as an impact player with Purefoods, Solis had his best years playing for the Swift Mighty Meaties where he scored two Mythical Five citations.

RANKED THIS LOW:
He basically got the starting job at Swift because the team is an expansion squad. The moment the franchise drafted Boybits Victoria, he was displayed. Fact is he was never a point guard. He was a shooting guard that waits for the ball to come to him so that he can shoot it. He is not a lazy though... but merely that’s just the way he needs to operate.




56 ALVIN TENG
THE ROBOCOP
1986 – 2002

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
4x Mythical Ten  
1x All-Star MVP
5x All-Star
1x Defensive Player of the Year
6x All-Defensive Team
Most Improved Player
5,000 Points
2,000 Defensive Rebounds
1,000 Offensive Rebounds
2x Season Champion: Total Offensive Rebounds

RANKED THIS HIGH:
The Robocop is not here just because he spawned two amazing basketball-playing sons. Alvin Teng was a beast for the San Miguel squad of the late 80’s and early 90’s where he often led the squad in rebounds. Frankly, he will never back out of a challenge especially with regards to possession battles. He was also a gifted scorer as evident when he was traded to Pepsi. By the looks of things he was a superstar waiting to happen.

RANKED THIS LOW:
Teng was the top dog in Pepsi because the talent in the squad was thin. He was traded to Sunkist and back to Pepsi (no called as Mobiline) where he was used as a second string power forward. This is the reason why The Robocop left the league to join the MBA in its second season – playing for the Laguna Lakers and the Negros Slashers. When he returned to the PBA via Alaska, he was ready to retire.


* The '75 means the year of their PBA debut.
I will use this as a signal which means I haven't seen these players play.

57 ESTOY ESTRADA
1975 – 1982

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
1x Mythical Five
5,000 Points
Top 5: Scoring Average
1x Season Champion: Total Points
1x Season Champion: Free Throws Made
1x Season Champion: 2-Points Made

RANKED THIS HIGH:
The name Estoy Estrada screams monster scorer especially to those who saw him strut his wares. Basing the infos from the Hardcourt book, I got to know that Estrada has the third-best scoring average of all-time with 19.7ppg. His best year in the PBA was during the inaugural season when he became part of the Mythical Five while playing for Royal Tru-Orange.

RANKED THIS LOW:
Checking out the stats and the bios, Estrada only played eight seasons in the league. At that point, the awards are less and the roles of imports were more. Also, he drifted from team to team and at one point he joined the super-souped up Toyota squad in 1978 the same time super-scorer Danny Florencio also joined the squad. Also, he never won the scoring average award despite finishing third in the all-time list.





58 JUN PAPA
THE RIFLEMAN
1975 – 1980  

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
1x Mythical Five
Top 10: Scoring Average
Played in the 1968 Mexico Olympics
Played in the 1972 Munich Olympics

RANKED THIS HIGH:
I never saw him play but online accounts praise him as one of the deadliest shooters to ever set foot in the PBA. He averaged 17.5 points in six seasons and alongside Danny Florencio, they were the only PBA players who played in the Summer Olympics twice. Before entering the PBA he was also a standout at the MICAA version of the Crispa Redmanizers.

RANKED THIS LOW:
He was about to celebrate his 30th birthday when the PBA started. If he was younger, he would have played more. Also, Papa went bye-bye from the MICAA version of Crispa because he served a lifetime ban for allegedly game fixing a championship series in 1973. He was one of six players involved in the incident. Why is this important? Undermanned, Baby Dalupan had no choice but to get young players to beef up his Crispa squad. Imagine if Papa was part of the PBA Crispa squad and not the players that were taken to fill up the void like Atoy Co, Philip Cezar, Abet Guidaben, Freddie Hubalde, and Bernie Fabiosa? (Note: Bogs Adornado was part of the 1973 squad but he was proven innocent.)  




59 KERBY RAYMUNDO
THE KID
2000 – PRESENT

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
1x Mythical Five
2x Mythical Ten  
1x Finals MVP
8x All-Star
Top 25: Rebounding Average
1x Season Champion: Total Rebounds
1x Season Champion: 2-Points Made

RANKED THIS HIGH:
He has been Purefoods/B-Meg’s primary offensive option on the inside for almost a decade now. His low post attack is his bread and butter but through the years his range has widened. In 2006, he almost won the MVP award had not for James Yap. In some ways I see him as the Abet Guidaben of his generation.

RANKED THIS LOW:
Raymundo’s career started slow. As a Red Bull direct hire, he got benched by the PBA office for almost a year because of falsification of documents. When he returned to the squad he played behind Davonn Harp. Also, The Kid is currently suffering from a bunch of injuries that is scary considering that most of the SMC teams are severely talent-laden.




60 BONG ALVAREZ
MR. EXCITEMENT
1989 – 2005

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
1x Mythical Five
1x Mythical Ten  
4x All-Star
5,000 Points
Top 25: Scoring Average
1x Season Champion: 2-Points Made

RANKED THIS HIGH:
Mr. Excitement was the epitome of awesomeness when it comes to scoring. He can shoot anywhere at great ease and he can solve a defense by displaying his acrobatic skills. He has this epic back to the basket mid-range shot that can be frequently seen on PBA’s Dunkin Donuts Anything Goes halftime segment. He holds the second-highest points total in a game with 71 points.

RANKED THIS LOW:
Mr. Excitement loves to change kits every time he feels like it. In his PBA career, he played for Alaska, Sta. Lucia, Shell, San Miguel, Ginebra, Air21, Red Bull, and Talk N Text. His journey also took him to the MBA via Pasig Blue Pirates and Pampanga Dragons. The problem of becoming a journeyman is that the coach would rather rely on a player who knows his plays than a player who just got there. Since, he is a superstar in terms of skills and mindset, playing as a second fiddle would eat him and this will lead to management spats. At the tailend of Alvarez’s career, his minutes dropped to the point that he is forced to accept one conference deals with the uncertainty of renewal.  


So there is still one 2-time Mythical Five player not yet mentioned in the list.

I won’t tell you.

Haha.

But if you want to see where SONNY THOSS is batched up in this list, then you need to check out the next ten.

Game over!

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September 25, 2016 at 9:45 AM comment-delete

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