2013-2014 PBA Rookie Ladder as of December 21, 2013

We’re pretty much knee-deep into the new PBA season, and we all should have good ideas of who the really good teams are (Petron, Ginebra), and who the really bad ones are (Air21, Barako Bull). This also means we should have a clearer picture of which rookies are more than “flashes in the pan” or “one hit wonders.” The top rookies, the cream of the crop if you will, are those who have consistently given significant contributions to their teams. In this edition of our Rookie Ladder, we will look at where this season’s freshies now stand.

Ian Sangalang has blossomed into a solid
frontliner for the Mixers.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/AKTV)

As always, this list is principally based on the Efficiency Ratings (EFF) as calculated by the sublime stat website, PBA-Online.net. Once again, this measures production and NOT potential

Anyway, here they are – the top ten rookies in the 2013-2014 PBA season as of December 21, 2013:

10. Jeric Teng (ROS) – 3.7ppg, 1.6rpg, 30.8 3pt%, 13.76 EFF
- Teng slows down a little bit after he laid a big fat egg against the Tropang Texters a few days ago. He played just 8 minutes and missed his lone field goal attempt. Save for one rebound, he had nothing to show for.

9. Ryan Buenafe (ALA) – 2.8ppg, 1.5rpg, 60.0 3pt%, 57.1 FG%, 15.17 EFF
- Buenafe played just 7 minutes for the Aces as they battled the Batang Pier last week, but the former Blue Eagle made the most of his limited time by hitting a three point shot. He has been playing sparingly in his first four pro games, but at least he has been reasonably productive given his time on the floor.

8. Raymond Almazan (ROS) – 3.5ppg, 5.3rpg, 83.3 FT%, 16.72 EFF
- The former Letran big man slips a little bit after playing just 7 minutes in the Painters’ loss to the Texters last December 17. After averaging around 17 minutes in his first four games, Almazan has played a total of 17 in his last two matches. Perhaps coach Yeng has relegated him to the end of the bench for some more seasoning?

7. Carlo Lastimosa (BAR) – 6.3ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.3apg, 17.73 EFF
- Jojo Lastimosa’s nephew has been the biggest rookie surprise of the month. He exploded for 15 points in the Energy Cola’s loss to the Express earlier in the month, and that certainly turned some heads. That might not happen again, of course, but, hey, at least the former CSB Blazer already has his 15 seconds of fame.

6. Eric Camson (AIR) – 5.0ppg, 4.9rpg, 18.21 EFF
- Maybe the most underrated rookie of this batch, Camson has put together a couple of really impressive games in his climb up the ladder. Unlike most of the guys on this list, this former Soaring Falcon has actually played in every single one of his team’s games, and he’s been a significant presence more often than not. Case in point: in his last two contests, Camson has averaged around 9 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 50% from the field. His average EFF rating for those 2 games? How about 28.50. Look out, fellas!

5. RR Garcia (GLO) – 10.5ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.9apg, 35.9 3pt%, 1.8 triples per game, 80.0 FT%, 22.53 EFF
- Surprise, surprise! RR Garcia has been maybe the best back-up playmaker in the league this past month! Since December 6, the former UAAP MVP has been putting up 11.5 points, and, prior to his 0/7 three-point shooting performance last night, he actually shot 47% from long range. Clearly, all Garcia needs is more time on the floor, and he’s sure to shine.

4. Justin Chua (GLO) – 7.5ppg, 4.2rpg, 47.2 FG%, 23.20 EFF
- Talk about solid. Chua plays fewer than 20 minutes per game and still manages to put nearly 8 points and 4 boards, while shooting close to 50% from the floor. In contrast, someone like, say, Joe Devance is playing more than double the minutes, but is producing at a lower efficiency rate. Like Garcia, all Chua needs is more burn, and he should be a borderline star.

3. Terrence Romeo (GLO) – 14.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.5apg, 1.4 triples per game, 27.35 EFF
- Romeo impressed with 22 points against the Aces last week, but he followed it up with a barf-worthy 1/10 effort against the Mixers last night. Talk about going from red hot to ice cold fast. Is Romeo destined to be the PBA equivalent of a boom-bust cycle? We still have a lot of time to wait and see.

2. Ian Sangalang (SMC) – 11.8ppg, 6.8rpg, 48.0 FG%, 28.54 EFF
- The lanky former Golden Stag leapfrogs past Romeo in our ladder and cements himself as an extremely potent back-up for Tim Cone’s aging frontline. Watching Sangalang operate down low, what with his plethora of moves, is reminiscent of watching David “The Admiral” Robinson dominate for San Antonio in the 90s. If you’re not yet convinced this kid is destined for stardom, then you’re nothing if not blind.

1. Greg Slaughter (GIN) – 14.6ppg, 11.0rpg, 2.0bpg, 53.4 FG%, 37.77 EFF
- There are only three guys currently averaging double-doubles in the league, and, lo and behold, this season’s top draft pick is one of them. Some people doubted Greg’s skill-set – maybe he was too slow, too gangly, too soft. Well, where are the naysayers now? The ROY is still not a lock, sure, but are we still doubting the talent of this Fil-American? Come on.

Outside looking in:
Eliud Poligrates (TNT) – 12.46 EFF
JR Cawaling (SMC) – 11.86 EFF
Robby Celiz (TNT) – 11.75 EFF

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