When it comes to winning basketball games, many coaches and enthusiasts point at the importance of defense. In fact, it’s now common to hear the proverbial words that say ‘defense wins the games and the championships’. This has become the mantra for many teams and coaches both in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and even the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). In the PBA, coaches, and trainers often focus on defense strategies and the skills of PBA players that will keep the other teams at bay. Even the great Michael Jordan of Chicago Bulls spoke highly of the importance of defense when it comes to playing the game.
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For many teams including Jordan’s Bulls, this recipe for winning is true. But for the rest, the results can be mixed. This means that offense and defense should be part of the strategy, and players should be trained on both as well.
In the PBA, the prevailing approach remains the same- a focus on either defense or offense. However, there are some PBA players who managed to excel at both and can work the court on both ends. They are the ones who can exert their energies on both ends of the court- they can score or help their teammates shut down the play of the other team. In short, they are all-around players who manage to boost the PBA score sheet or boost the PBA online following. By the end of the quarter or game, these are the players who managed to leave an impression on the PBA score sheet, making them some of the most important PBA players today.
The Important PBA Players In The World
Did you know that he was about to achieve his first quadruple-double in PBA history if only he made two more steals on the game? This is a testament to the versatility and skills of Chris Ross. He is known as a great defensive player and the anchor of San Miguel’s defense position.
In terms of offense, he is known to score at will. During a game against Alaska which was held in Batangas City, he exploded with 24 points with 9 assists. At the end of the 2017-18 Philippine Cup, he averaged 10 points, 6 assists, and 5.6 rebounds.
June Mar Fajardo
In a coverage made in PBA Spin, an online magazine focused on sports, June Mar Fajardo was cited as one of the best players. At 6-foot-10, Fajardo is a towering presence for the San Miguel Beer and was named as the Best Player of the Conference and the Finals MVP. And if he manages to capture another league MVP, then he will put him ahead of Patrimonio and Fernandez, two PBA players who are known for their skills and leadership on the court.
He may not be as tall as Fajardo but Abueva surely has the heart and hustle when playing at PBA live games. He is best known for his tenacity and determination on the court and this is one reason why Abueva was picked as a member of the 2015 PBA All-Defensive Team. His tenacity and antics on court often get the attention of viewers in the wrong way, but there’s no denying the fact that he can help teams win. His aggressive stance and determination help him get a loyal following among PBA online fans. You can hate him, love him, or reject him, but there’s no denying the fact that he is a great scorer and helps boost the popularity of PBA live games.
Japeth Aguilar became the go-to leader of Barangay Ginebra when Greg Slaughter was out and not available to play. He did not disappoint since he managed to collect 21.3 points in 16 matches. Japeth is also known for his skills on both sides of the court. He uses his athletic ability to score points and shut down the other player.
If you think that his 13 seasons with the PBA is a sign that he should slow down, well think again. Even with his age, Santos still manages to impress the PBA live games fans with his defensive skills and athleticism. He is still considered an all-around player and one who can contribute to the team even though he is playing with some of the best guys around. Even though he can’t compete in the muscles department with other players, he still manages to impress on offense and defense. Last season, Santos managed to turn down 2.2 shots per game, considered the second best in the league.
As a reliable defense player, Santos knows how to steal a few possessions too, managing to 1.4 steals per game. This former collegiate star is also known for his 9.6 rebounds per game. All these stats make Santos a reliable all-around PBA player and help power his team to wins and championships.
All-Around PBA Players Are at the Heart of Many PBA Teams
There are different strategies and tactics to get the best PBA score and collect championships. Many of these coaches and consultants will rely on advanced play strategies like zone defense and spread offense and they will deliver different results depending on how these are planned out and executed by players. But there’s one element in the game that remains constant in helping teams win- the all-around ability of players on both ends of the court. And in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), there are a handful of all-around PBA players that can be relied upon when it comes to shooting for the best PBA score or in winning championships. These are the go-to guys for many coaches and consultants when playing the game, especially during cruch time.
Aside from coaches and consultants, sports betting fans are known to follow and study the exploits of these players. Their scoring and defensive skills can help make or break a game, thus their exploits can be helpful too in planning an informed sports bet. If you are planning to bet on PBA live games or simply want to impress someone, just follow these players and enjoy the game.
As a team sports, the game requires the participation of all players. And in each team, players perform different roles in the delivery of points and the game. In the development of the best PBA team, it’s not just about one person- it’s all about the teamwork that happens among and between team members, as guided by the coach. It is this teamwork and collaboration that brings a team the championship for a specific season. Although this ballgame is all about teamwork, the success of the team can be attributed as well to specific players who have special roles in the team. For example, the success of a team in a season can be attributed to the best point guards and centers. In this part of this PBA basketball betting guide, we take a look at the players who made their marks as point guards and centers of their respective teams.
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Most Effective Point Guards in the History of the Game
Just like other positions, the point guard specializes in certain skills. However, these are special players that can make or break a team. In the discussion of the best PBA player, we will include some of the best point guards in the league. They are the players who are expected to run and pace the offense of the basketball team by controlling the ball and making sure that the right player gets the ball or the play at the right time. They set the tone of the play, thus they are critical in the game too. Described below are the most effective and top point guards in the history of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
A list is never complete without including the legend: Robert Jaworski. Compared to other players who have graced the hard court, Mr. Jaworski is one of the most accomplished and awarded players of the league. As a PBA hall of fame member, he helped steered his team to 13 championships and was an MVP in 1978, a 6-time member of the Mythical First Team, a 2-time member of the All-Defensive Team, and a Hall of Fame Class of 2005 member.
It is not just his performance on the court that made him a star. His antics on and off the court also helped shaped the persona of Jaworski. Known for his ‘never-say-die’ attitude, he managed to lead the team to many ups and downs and have earned many fans along the way. Other players and enthusiasts may not like his brash style on and off the court, but there’s no denying the fact that he is one of the most effective point guards in the history of the league.
When it comes to fast plays and the tenacity in working for points, you can’t go wrong with Jayson Castro. Mr. Castro is one of the hardworking persons behind the six championship rings of Talk n’ Text, one of the leading teams. Just like Jaworski, Jayson Castro is a star both on and off the court. He is the owner of 6 championships and a recipient of many awards. He is a 4-time Best Player of the Conference and was hailed the 2011 Most Improved Player. Also, Castro has made a name in the international circuit. As a member of the famed ‘Gilas Pilipinas’ team, he earned the citation of ‘the Best Point Guard in Asia’.
During the 1990s, few playmakers managed to capture the attention and imagination of fans and enthusiasts. One such player that managed to make a mark is Johnny Abarrientos, a long-time player of the Alaska team. Just like Castro and Jaworski, Abarrientos managed to collect several awards throughout his career. As part of Alaska, he earned 12 championships. Also, he was an MVP (1996) and a 2-time Finals MVP.
What makes Abarrientos a compelling addition to any team is his athleticism, speed, and professionalism. He established himself as one of the premier playmakers in the league and the person responsible for the movement of this team. Thanks to his quick speed and the confidence to pass and go for the shots, he was dubbed as the ‘Flying A’. If you’re going to ask most of the players and fans of the 1990s on how they will describe Abarrientos, they will agree he’s one of the best stars thanks to his flashy crossover dribble finished by a jumper or layup. Throughout his stay in the league, he managed to work and play with some of the best players in the sport. His teammates include Jeffrey Cariaso, Poch Juinio, and Jojo Lastimosa. He was also part of the legendary ‘Centennial Team’ that was sent to the Bangkok Asian Games and collected a bronze.
A fan favorite, Jimmy Alapag is a regular member of many lists of ‘bests’ in the business. He’s always in the top list of may fans and critics and he’s always included in the top 5 or the best- 5 to 16 players of the last decade. And a quick look at his resume can easily validate all the kind words that are showered on Alapag. He owns 6 championships and was named the 2003 Rookie of the Year and the 2011 MVP. Also, he was a 2-time Finals MVP, a 1-time Best Player of the Conference, and he was a member of the Mythical First Team for Three Years.
Alapag boasts one of the most colorful stories in the business. As a player, he was initially drafted to become part of the national team for the 2002 Asian Games in South Korea. However, he was pushed to the sidelines due to a hand injury and failed to participate in the games. After recovering from this injury, he tried his luck in the professional ranks in 2013. During the drafting of new players, he was drafted 10th by a new team called Talk n’ Text. It was with this team that Alapag managed to weave one of the most inspiring stories in the industry.
Known as the ‘Mighty Mouse’, he managed to steer his team to six championships including a three-straight championship starting 2011. He is also part of the Gilas Pilipinas team that participated in many international competitions. Perhaps his biggest ‘shot’ happened during the semifinals against the South Korean team for a slot at the finals of the 2013 FIBA Asia Cup. With less than a minute to play, Alapag completes a 3-point shot that extended the lead to 5, sealing the star game for the ballgame-mad Filipinos.
Most Effective Power Forwards in the History of the Game
Teams rely on all members to execute the play and deliver the points. And there are those teams that rely on that special group of individuals can power their way inside the paint to score or just make a space for other team maters to deliver points. These are your power forwards in the ballgame, and the PBA is also home to some of the most effective power powered. For more than four decades, the league managed to produce some of the most reliable power forwards who were skilled and powered and managed to help their teams to win championships and collected an award or several awards through the years. In this section, we’ll take a look at some names that truly made an impact.
Also known as ‘The Scholar’, Philip Cezar is a star and skillful player on the court. Throughout his career in the league, he collected several awards making him one of the best PBA players. He was active during the 1970s and 1980s and was named as the 1980 Most Valuable Player and was selected as a member of the Mythical First Team seven times. Also, he was a member of the winning team 15 times and regular addition to the Mythical Second Team and the All-Defensive Team.
As a player, he’s best known for his defensive skills which were an important component in his ‘umbrella defense’. thanks to his height and unique approach to defense, he regularly blocks the shots of players. This earned him the moniker of ‘tapal (block) king’. Aside from defense, he was also an all-around player who can play different positions. He also earned the label of the ‘King of Hardcourt’ and he managed to beat Ramon Fernandez, arguably the best PBA player, in a one-on-one competition. In all, Mr. Cezar played for 17 years and it earned some of the best records in the business.
His play is often compared to that of Philip Cezar. And this is in the clear display when Santos performs his role as a power forward on both ends of the court. As a professional player, he is affectionately called ‘the spider-man’ on the court thanks to his defense and highly skilled rebounding skills. When the ball bounces off the ring, you can be sure that Santos is one of the players who will scramble and make a play for the loose ball. Thanks to this commitment to defense, Arwind Santos is a regular addition to the All-Defensive Team. Also, he was a part of the champion team for six years and was also named as the best player of the tournament (2013).
A review of the best players in the Philippines is never complete without adding Alvin Patrimonio into the mix. A well-loved member of the sport’s elite of the country, Mr. Patrimonio owns several awards and records in the business. He was the league MVP for four years, the last one in 1997. Also, he has six championship rings and these are earned through his Purefoods team. Furthermore, his exploits with Purefoods made the team as the club to beat in many All-Filipino Cups.
His entry into the business was at the right time, especially when the game greats like Philip Cezar, Abe King, and Ramon Fernandez are about to retire. Alvin Patrimonio is the team captain of the Purefoods team and he was a dominating presence inside the paint. He can carry the ball, manage every defender, and set the point and play for his teammates. Even with the arrival of Filipino-American players, Alvin Patrimonio managed to hold his ground inside the paint and he also managed to improved another skill- that of the 3-point shot.
Most Effective Centers in the History of the Game
Aside from the guards, point guards, and the power forwards, you also have the centers. They are the individuals who are tasked to dominate the shaded area, and there’s nothing shady about their contributions to the play and collection of points. If a team has a reliable center, a play can be executed anytime. Here’s a quick look at some of the best and most effective centers in the history of sports in the Philippines.
An alumnus of the University of the Philippines and have played for the UP Maroons, Benjie Paras is a domineering presence on and off the court. He made a confident splash in the league as the only player who managed to snag the Rookie of the Year award and the Most Valuable Player award for 1989. These awards set the tone for many other awards and accomplishments for Paras. Aside from these two initial awards, he was also the game’s best in 1999 and an owner of four championship rings thanks to his participation with Shell. Also, he was a regular fixture in many Mythical teams, the best players’ list, and he was also named as one of the PBA 40 Greatest Players Ever and a member of the 2013 PBA Hall of Fame.
What made Paras differently was his approach to the game and his style. While other players are known for their smooth and almost clinical approach to playing, Paras brought power, roughness, and tenacity to the court. He is known for his aggressive play and will confidently barrel through opponents to collect points. After his maiden season, he averaged 25.8 points per game. And even though he shared the spotlight with many imports like Bobby Parks Sr and Derrick Rowland, Paras still managed to hold his ground. He is one of only five players of the league who earned more than a thousand blocks and this earned him the title of the ‘Tower of Power’. In 2003, he retired from the game. According to records, he scored 10,322 points and 4,445 rebounds.
When it comes to writing about the greatest players who have graced the sport in the country, then it’s impossible not to include Ramon Fernandez. For many players and observers, he’s the best center to come out of the league’s long and colorful history. And when you check the record books, you will find several awards and citations for the person affectionately called ‘el presidente’. As one of the reliable presence at San Miguel, he earned four Most Valuable Player awards with the last one in 1998. He owns 19 championship rings and he was a member of the mythical teams for several seasons. Also, as a testament to his skills and contribution, he was named a member of the 40 Greatest Players Ever, a Hall of Fame awardee, and the league’s rebounding and blocks leader.
His skills and abilities on the court made him one of the best in the business. While other players are known for their singular skill, Ramon Fernandez showcased his all-around game. He can dominate players and the game with a variety of post moves and his shot-making skills is an art in itself. Although he is a big man, he can move fast, make plays, and pass the ball to his teammates. Philip Cezar may have defeated him in at least two one-one games, but there’s no denying the fact that Fernandez has the goods and the skills. Thanks to all the awards that he collected through the years, Ramon Fernandez was considered the game’s royalty during his retirement until today. No PBA reunion or listing of the best is complete without including Mr. Fernandez on the list.
Other popular PBA players that are worthy of inclusion in this list are James Yap, Jerry Codinera, Asi Taulava, Abet Guidaben, Nelson Asaytono, and Marlou Aquino. James Yap, for example, is a relatively young player who managed to carve a niche for himself as a shooting guard. Yap is best known for his athleticism which made him a star during college and this served as his ticket to the big league. In the professional league, James Yap was the best player of the Philippine Cup and was included in many all-star lists. During the best 5-16 season of the Philippine Cup, Yap was an active player who aspired for the championship of his team.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Important PBA Players In The World
- 2 All-Around PBA Players Are at the Heart of Many PBA Teams
- 2.1 Most Effective Point Guards in the History of the Game
- 2.2 Most Effective Power Forwards in the History of the Game
- 2.3 Most Effective Centers in the History of the Game