The year is about to end, but it's just the beginning of the road for the latest crop of PBA rookies.
Almost every newcomer has played at least one game in the pros, with the highly touted basketball prospects logging in considerable minutes. The class of 2017 has been brilliant thus far, each freshman seizing the moment whenever called upon.
A handful of them, though, are off to better starts than their other batchmates. If there was a local version of the NBA rookie ladder, these players would be the early frontrunners:
6) Rey Nambatac (Rain or Shine Elasto Painters)
vs TNT: 5 pts 5 reb
The former Letran Knight was fortunate enough to even get some burn in Caloy Garcia's crowded backcourt. Nambatac's playing time and numbers have nowhere to go but up once he proves his worth as 7th overall pick.
5) Robbie Herndon (Magnolia Hotshots)
vs ALA: 9 pts 7 reb 1 stl
vs GIN: 2 pts 3 reb
Herndon's inconsistency was a case of rookie minutes. He would've played longer against Ginebra (13:01) if he was hot. If anything, the No. 6 selection will use his size in crashing the boards on a rough shooting night.
4) Jeron Teng (Alaska Aces)
vs MAG: 16 pts 2 reb
D-League's triple-double machine was chosen 5th for his versatility, which he wasn't able to showcase during his first game. The positive takeaway was that Teng had no trouble putting the ball through the hoop. Everything else just followed naturally.
3) Jason Perkins (Phoenix Fuel Masters)
vs SMB: 10 pts 9 reb (4 off) 2 ast 1 stl
Perkins just missing out on a double-double was rather impressive, considering whom he was up against. The way the No. 4 pick challenged June Mar Fajardo's defense and banged bodies inside the paint was an encouraging sign.
2) Raymar Jose (Blackwater Elite)
vs MER: 16 pts 6 reb 2 ast
The inside-outside game of the 3rd overall selection was as good as advertised. It won't be long until Jose starts putting up monster rebounding performances and living up to his three-year, P8.5 million max contract.
1) Kiefer Ravena (NLEX Road Warriors)
vs KIA: 18 pts 12 ast 7 reb 2 stl
vs GLO: 20 pts 5 ast 2 reb 4 stl
Ravena and Ben Simmons are very much alike, with how the former has been head and shoulders above the competition. Even if Christian Standhardinger suited up for the Beermen, there's no stopping the Phenom's rise.