PBA 2011-12 Philippine Cup: Rookie Rankings (As of October 8, 2011)



The first week of the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup is sending shock waves to some veterans. Because of what they are doing (or lack thereof), some rookies are doing the necessary things to take away their spots.

The Smart-Gilas core has been a hit or miss with some players undergoing rookie jitters and minimal playing time. Mac Baracael has yet to play but it’s a legit reason with Alaska debuting on October 9. JV Casio however is expected to play midway the season while Dylan Ababou was DNP-ed by Barako Bull. Meanwhile, there are some that soared to great heights in their first game.

Or in Petron’s case... first two games.

Game starts now.


10 MERALCO / JASON BALLESTEROS
1 POINT – 4 REBOUNDS – 14 MINUTES
Yes, his stats are far from awesome. If you look at it, this should have been Mark Barroca’s place. Unfortunately for Barroca, he has yet to gain the trust to claim big-level minutes at B-Meg.

9 MERALCO / GILBERT BULAWAN
5 POINTS – 2 REBOUNDS – 1 STEAL – 9 MINUTES
Meralco was at a disadvantage already with the injuries to Sol Mercado and Reynel Hugnatan. Adding to their woes was Mac Cardona who got during their first game. Bulawan did well in minimal minutes.

8 SHOPINAS.COM / MAGI SISON
8 POINTS – 5 REBOUNDS – 17 MINUTES
Like I said, Sison will benefit in an upstart team that lacks in big guns. He is the team’s starting center although he was eased out from his position by a superb performance from James Sena. More on this later.

7 POWERADE / RUDY LINGGANAY
6 POINTS – 5 REBOUNDS – 3 ASSISTS – 1 STEAL – 20 MINUTES
Undrafted a couple of years back, Lingganay honed his craft in the ABL thereby getting the check out from PBA scouts. How playing for Powerade, the former UE Warrior is a great sub for Celino Cruz and eventually for JV Casio.

6 TALK N TEXT / PAMBOY RAYMUNDO
6 POINTS – 6 REBOUNDS – 6 ASSISTS – 22 MINUTES
While I doubt this would be a day-to-day stat, Raymundo managed to make a good account for himself in the absence of Jimmy Alapag. He will probably love this exposure until Alapag returns from sickbay.

5 POWERADE / MARCIO LASSITER
10 POINTS – 7 REBOUNDS – 3 ASSISTS – 3 STEALS – 30 MINUTES
Lassiter made up for the absence of Casio by giving ample support to Gary David. David still produces the bulk of the scoring load for the Tigers but now he is sure that there is helping waiting for him. This ranking could have been higher had not for his five turnovers.

4 BARAKO BULL / ALLEIN MALIKSI
15 POINTS – 7 REBOUNDS – 1 ASSIST – 1 STEAL – 23 MINUTES
Maliksi’s impressive debut was spoiled by Barako Bull’s loss. His 15 points made up for the lackluster showings of Willie Miller and Danny Seigle. It was also enough for Dylan Ababou to DNP his first game. Basically this would have been a better debut had the Energy won.

3 SHOPINAS.COM / JAMES SENA
15 POINTS – 12 REBOUNDS – 2 ASSISTS – 31 MINUTES
Okay let’s get up to speed at his scenario. Drafted ninth in the 2009 Draft, Sena’s NCAA obligations caused him the boot out of the San Miguel lineup. D-League gave him a break to still have his spurs and he got lucky in claiming a spot in Franz Pumaren’s rotation. So what did the JRU Bomber do? He manned up to become the first rookie to have a double-double this season.

2 PETRON / CHRIS LUTZ
18.0PPG – 3.0RPG – 5.0APG – 3.0SPG – 1.0BPG – 38.5MPG
Lutz is at a disadvantage because he has already played two games. However, can anybody tell me why he shouldn’t be jumping with glee? In both of Petron’s wins, Lutz played exemplary. The injury that sidelined Dondon Hontiveros gave Lutz the green light score at will. His defense is still evident – as what Barako Bull felt when he swiped the ball six times in the contest.

1 RAIN OR SHINE / PAUL LEE  
21 POINTS – 5 REBOUNDS – 8 ASSISTS – 2 STEALS – 31 MINUTES
Like I said – I knew JV Casio will play for Powerade but I’m definitely sure that Paul Lee will win the rookie of the year award. Lee was phenomenal against Ginebra because of the way he can create situations for himself and his teammates. Everyone is saying Lee looks like a Willie Miller when in fact I see him as the better and more focused version of Jimwell Torion. Yes Mr. Torion, this could have been you if you didn’t spoil your chance to become a potential Hall of Famer.


In the coming week, I’m going to check in with the power rankings. The week after, I’m going to return with the rookie rankings. Mark Barroca, Marc Agustin, Reil Cervantes, and Mark Canlas will have to do well. And then there’s Ababou, Casio, Baracael, Julius Pasculado, Ariel Mepana, and Eric Salamat still at the sidelines.

All is well in the Philippine Cup.

Game over!

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