Although not the same amount as ballhandlers, the country has produced a plethora of wingmen, which makes turning pro an achievement. And when you emerge as a star in the big leagues, then you must be doing something right.
The true value of a forward in Philippine basketball lies in his all-around and two-way ability. You can be standing barely above six feet, but grab boards like there's no tomorrow and defend like crazy. You may not score in double figures, but average almost six assists and two treys per game.
It depends on how one impacts the game, and the PBA studs below know the way to being game-changers at the highest level.
12. Eric Camson (Kia Picanto)
12.4 ppg 5.4 rpg 1.2 spg 2.4 3pg
As bewildering as Kia's "unconventional" style is, the good side of it is that it gives unheralded players like Camson an opportunity to shine.
11. Jason Perkins (Phoenix Fuel Masters)
11 ppg 6.6 rpg 2.2 apg 1 spg
Making the cut as a rookie says a lot about "JDV 2.0" and his rapid development. Perkins is holding the fort quite well against seasoned competition.
10. Marc Pingris (Magnolia Hotshots)
5.8 ppg 10.3 rpg 3 apg
Magnolia has younger guys sharing the same position, but the 36-year-old still outperforms them with sheer hustle and basketball IQ.
9. Beau Belga (Rain or Shine Elasto Painters)
7.8 ppg 6.6 rpg 2.4 apg 1.2 bpg
Belga is already a solid player judging by skill level. Factor in his intimidation and what you get is an elite-level power forward in his most effective.
8. Nino Canaleta (Meralco Bolts)
14.2 ppg 7.6 rpg 2.4 apg
In a small-ball roster loaded with forwards (Cliff Hodge, Jared Dillinger), the first-year Bolt gets the nod time based on time spent on the court this season.
7. Mac Belo (Blackwater Elite)
17.2 ppg 7 rpg 2 apg 1.2 spg 2.2 3pg
Belo was able to translate his success in college and the minor league—2015 UAAP and 2016 PBA D-League (champion and Finals MVP)—to the pros.
6. JR Quinahan (NLEX Road Warriors)
15 ppg 8 rpg 2 apg 1.2 bpg
Coach Yeng must be eager to have the slimmed-down version of Quinahan at his disposal. After all, they were together during the Extra Rice, Inc. days.
5. Japeth Aguilar (Barangay Ginebra San Miguel)
14.8 ppg 6.8 rpg 2.5 apg 2.5 bpg
The most physically gifted athlete in this list, the second-generation player could have easily been No. 1 if not for the occasional brain farts and lackluster rebounding.
4. Troy Rosario (TNT KaTropa)
15 ppg 11 rpg 2.6 3pg
Think about it: Rosario is averaging a double-double as member of a team that also has Kelly Williams, Mo Tautaa, and even Harvey Carey.
3. Sean Anthony (GlobalPort Batang Pier)
18.3 ppg 9.5 rpg 5.8 apg 2.5 spg
The blue-collar worker has been the definition of versatility, which is why it's rather suprising that this is already his seventh team (hopefully his last).
2. Calvin Abueva (Alaska Aces)
14.8 ppg 10.2 rpg 3.2 apg 1.2 bpg 1.4 spg
He isn't called the Beast for nothing. Every time a team is scheduled to face Alaska, its players should be ready to bring it all against Abueva.
1. Arwind Santos (San Miguel Beermen)
15.8 ppg 8.8 rpg 2.3 apg 2 bpg 1.8 spg 2.8 3pg
The oldest player should not be the best of the bunch. But every time you can put up 20-10 on a nighty basis, an exception must be made.