The List: Top 10 PBA Players to Never Win the MVP Award

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The List: Top 10 PBA Players to Never Win the MVP Award

Post by Ginebra Tambayan on Fri May 18, 2012 10:05 am

The List: Top 10 PBA Players to Never Win the MVP Award
Jaemark Tordecilla and Jay P. Mercado, InterAKTV · Friday, May 18, 2012 · 4:49 am

The PBA’s top individual honor, the Most Valuable Player award, has always been controversial. The word “valuable” is a loaded term — it can mean different things to different people — and putting in parameters such as statistics hasn’t exactly made things clearer; after all, there are many “valuable” things that a player could do that couldn’t exactly be measured in numbers.

In this edition of The List, we present the greatest PBA players never to win the top plum. As always, here are some honorable mentions:

Arwind Santos

The Spider-Man might not on this list for long — with the way he’s been dominating the statistics, he could end up winning an MVP award before he retires. But he’s been a bridesmaid at least three times in his career.

Rudy Hatfield

The H-Bomb was the cornerstone of some great teams — the 2003 Coca-Cola Tigers, which made it to the finals of all three conferences, and the 2006-07 Barangay Ginebra Kings, which won the Philippine Cup, come to mind. But even though he left everything on the court when he was playing, Hatfield often had his heart somewhere else, taking off and leaving his team to find other opportunities abroad many times.

Jeffrey Cariaso

Cariaso was the last cut for the national team bound for the Asian Games in 1994 and 1998. When he finally made it to the final lineup in 2002, it came at a price. As the main man for an excellent Coca-Cola Tigers squad, it was his best shot at the MVP, but his stint with the national team hampered his chances. But it certainly didn’t diminish his 15-year career, which saw him playing the role of bench spark plug,
franchise savior, respected veteran, and most of all, winner.

Lim Eng Beng

Lim was one of the greatest scorers in the PBA’s early days. But because he didn’t play for either Toyota or Crispa in his prime years, the former La Salle guard didn’t get the same attention as his colleagues. Still, his brilliance was tattooed in the minds of hardcore fans, as he was named to the PBA’s list of 25 Greatest Players in 2000.

Abe King

When talk of the greatest big men in PBA history come up, King’s nameis often left off the discussion, which is a shame. As a rookie, he crashed the starting lineup of the powerhouse Toyota squad in 1977.

King was Marc Pingris before Marc Pingris — a defensive demon who bedeviled opposing players, locals and imports alike. Unlike Pingris, King could put up buckets; he once scored 60 points in a game.

10. Ronnie Magsanoc

Benjie Paras rightfully deserves a lot of credit for Shell’s success
at the start of the 1990s. But here’s how great Magsanoc was: he
might’ve been even better.

Unfortunately for the Point Laureate, his best statistical season
came in 1990 — the same year Allan Caidic had a monster scoring season
that saw him set an all-time PBA high of 79 points in one game.

9. Nelson Asaytono

Asaytono wasn’t exactly what one would call a fan favorite. When he
left Purefoods in 1991, he immediately took the role as the top kontrabida
in Yeng Guiao’s villainous Swift teams (the same role Enrico Villanueva
later played at Red Bull). In 1992, he led the league in statistics,
but the MVP went to the underdog candidate, San Miguel’s Ato Agustin. No
one wanted to vote for the kontrabida.

Years later, Asaytono and Agustin would switch places — literally.
They were traded for each other in 1996, and The Bull had a monster
season for the Beermen in 1997, but was defeated by Purefoods’ Alvin
Patrimonio for the MVP award. (Patrimonio led his team to a title, and
Asaytono did not.)

8. Danny Florencio

If the PBA had started five years earlier, Danny Florencio would probably have won an MVP. Already a superstar in the MICAA when the pro league opened shop, Florencio was part of bad teams in those early years.

But he still showcased his talent, averaging more than 32 points per
game — still a PBA record — in 1977 for a moribund 7-Up squad. He moved
to Toyota the next season, and while he was still a valuable weapon, he
could no longer get the opportunity to be the top dog on a loaded squad
before ending his career with Galerie Dominique.

7. Hector Calma

The Director didn’t score much, but he was often San Miguel’s most
valuable player on the court during the team’s late ’80s dynasty.

Calma was the team’s one constant: he won with Abet Guidaben at
center, and he won with Ramon Fernandez at center. It hardly mattered if
he was setting up Elmer Reyes, Samboy Lim, Ato Agustin, or Allan
Caidic. Calma was charged with finding a way for the Beermen to win, and
they did.

6. Jerry Codiñera

It’s almost unfair to Codiñera that we have to mention Alvin
Patrimonio every time there’s an entry about him in this series; after
all, the reverse wouldn’t true.

But it underscores the fact that he lived in his more popular
teammate’s shadow. And it would give us a chance to say that even though
it was Patrimonio who won four MVPs in the 1990s, Codiñera was every
bit as valuable to Purefoods during that period of time.

5. Jojo Lastimosa

Early in his career, Lastimosa was an alpha dog. He was the leader of
the young players in the early years of the team — Lastimosa, and not
Alvin Patrimonio, was actually the team’s captain.

(Imagine if had Lastimosa not left: The Captain would never have been The Captain! How crazy is that?)

When he was traded to Alaska, Lastimosa quickly established himself
as the main man, even though the team already had Bong Alvarez. He led
the franchise to its first title in the 1991 Third Conference and led
the league in stats, but he lost to Patrimonio in the MVP race.

But midway through his career, Lastimosa shifted gears. He
acknowledged the entry of more talented teammates, and quietly ceded the
spotlight to guys like Johnny Abarrientos and Kenneth Duremdes. He
never won an MVP — but he ended up with 10 titles, the most of anyone in
the 1990s.

4. Mark Caguioa

AKTV/Paul Ryan Tan

Caguioa might still end up with an MVP award before all is said and
done; after winning the Best Player of the Conference award in the
Commissioner’s Cup, he’s among the leading contenders for the season’s
top plum, and The Spark is looking for a big comeback from an eye injury
in the upcoming Governors’ Cup.

But even if he never wins the MVP, he stands as next only to Robert
Jaworski in embodying the never-say-die Ginebra spirit. And that’s more
valuable than any piece of hardware anyone can win in the PBA.

3. Samboy Lim

It’s hard to explain the Samboy Lim phenomenon to anyone who wasn’t
there. After all, his numbers don’t pop out, and his San Miguel Beermen
team ended up winning with or without him. All we have, as way of
evidence, are grainy YouTube videos.

But we’ll try.

Norman Black often had him coming off the bench, and every time he
stood up, tossed his towel to the ballboy, and jogged to the scorer’s
table, the whole ULTRA would erupt. It didn’t matter what team San
Miguel was playing; The Dragon was checking into the game, and
everyone’s going to see something special.

The way Samboy played the game — the fearlessness, the reckless
abandon — was the way every Filipino kid in every playground wanted to
play the game. Samboy was the very embodiment of why we, a people, fell
in love with basketball, and why we still do, passionately. That’s what
all those cheers were for.

At his very peak, he was unstoppable; he often looked like the best player on the court. Unfortunately for us, he couldn’t stay healthy long enough — because of that same fearlessness and reckless abandon — to stay there.

2. Francis Arnaiz

In our introduction to this piece, we said that the MVP award has always been controversial. That’s true from the very first season of the PBA.

While the league named Crispa’s Bogs Adornado as the MVP, media thought otherwise. They named Arnaiz their Basketball Player of the Year.

A sweet-shooting combo guard with a mean streak, he was the PBA’s
original “Mr. Clutch” — no small feat, considering he was on a team that
also included Ramon Fernandez and Robert Jaworski. Unfortunately,
Arnaiz spent most of his career in the shadows of the other two men, who
ended up winning MVP awards. But make no mistake about it: Toyota had a
Big Three, and Arnaiz was every bit as big as the other two.

As the years pass, memories of Arnaiz’s glory days continue to slowly fade. But those are memories we ought not to forget.

1. Danny Seigle

Let’s star by saying that Danny Seigle is probably the most talented local player ever to set foot on a PBA basketball court.

He made an immediate impact, almost winning the MVP award in his
rookie season in 1999 after leading San Miguel to two titles, and was
only narrowly beaten out by Benjie Paras.

His teammate, Danny Ildefonso, won the next two MVP plums, and not a
few people would argue that the surnames on those trophies were

Whatever the case, San Miguel won five titles in nine tournaments
over Seigle’s first three years, and he was considered the best player
in the PBA. With him as the national squad’s top gun in 2002, people
were actually thinking that Team Pilipinas had a chance at upsetting Yao
Ming’s China in the Asian Games.

But then, disaster struck; Seigle suffered a torn achilles tendon in the leadup to the Games, and he was never the same again.

Oh sure, he was still very good when he came back, and he showed flashes of greatness, even. But it hasn’t quite been the same.

Still, those early years were enough to make people talk about Seigle
in hushed, reverent tones, even today. You know when you read an
article, and come across a passage about how the Fil-Am invasion in the
late ’90s transformed the PBA?

Think about it: Did any of those other guys lead their teams to a string of titles immediately? Did any other player change the way we expect 6-foot-6 guys to play in the league?

When people talk about the Fil-Am invasion transformed, they were really talking about Danny Seigle.

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Re: The List: Top 10 PBA Players to Never Win the MVP Award

Post by MR. FAST on Fri May 18, 2012 11:34 am

Si MC may chance pa yan, kapag pumasok ang Ginebra sa Finals ngayong Governors cup at nag champion pa at nalaglag ang TNT at BMEG sa quarterfinals palang, sure win na si MC dyan!

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