2013-2014 PBA Rookie Ladder as of January 8, 2014

‘Tis a new year, the PBA Philippine Cup has resumed, and, with it, we have a new edition of our 2013-2014 PBA Rookie Ladder. If you’re expecting big changes at the top, then you’ll be mistaken, but the real shake-up happens elsewhere as some new names barge into our top ten freshies of the young season.

Did Raymond Almazan's breakout game push him
up in our PBA Rookie LaddeR?
(image by Nuki Sabio/PBA)

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 January 8, 2014:

10. Alex Nuyles (ROS) – 4.7ppg, 1.9rpg, 14.6 EFF (new)
- Nuyles’s numbers aren’t spectacular by any measure of the imagination, but if we’re going by the “you’re only as good as your last game” mindset, then Nuyles should actually be higher on this list. His latest outing? How about 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals, while shooting 50% from the field and 80% from the line. His player efficiency rating for that game? 33.1 EFF!!!

9. Nico Salva (GLO) – 4.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 15.5 EFF (new)
- Like Nuyles, Salva’s cause has been bolstered by his last game, where the former Ateneo Blue Eagle had 11 points and 3 rebounds. His team lost Nuyles’s Painters in that match, but if Salva can be consistent with these numbers, then he might just be the steal of the draft.

If he gets more playing time, Nico Salva should
put up numbers similar to what he produced
against ROS.
(image by Pranz Kaeno Billones/Sports 5)

8. Eric Camson (A21) – 5.2ppg, 4.7rpg, 19.0 EFF (+1)
- Camson moves up one spot in our rankings mainly because of a string of near-double-doubles – he averaged around 9 points and 9 rebounds from December 11-22, 2013. His playing time has dipped a bit since then, but he’s still one of the top big men to come out of the 2013 draft class.

7. Carlo Lastimosa (BAR) – 6.6ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.6apg, 20.5 EFF (returning)
- Lastimosa dropped a dozen in Barako’s huge year-ending win over GlobalPort. He shot 3/4 from the field and a perfect 5/5 from the line. The former CSB Blazer also added 6 boards and 2 dimes. If this kid plays his cards right, he might be a PJ-Simon-in-the-making.

6. Raymond Almazan (ROS) – 4.7ppg, 5.7rpg, 21.0 EFF (same)
- The highlight so far of Almazan’s rookie campaign was that awesome 17-point, 11-rebound game against the San Mig Coffee Mixers. The lanky Letran center shot 5/6 from the two-point area on his way to his career night. He also added 2 assists and 2 blocked shots to rack up a player efficiency rating of 44.6 EFF!

5. RR Garcia (GLO) – 9.4ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.4apg, 1.5 triples per game, 21.1 EFF (-1)
- After a string of double-digit games in early December, Garcia’s shooting ran into a cold spell to end 2013 and start 2014. In his last three games, the former UAAP MVP shot just 3/17 from beyond the arc (18%) and 8/32 overall from the field (25%). If the Batang Pier want to punch a quarterfinal ticket, then Garcia better rediscover his touch from long range.

4. Justin Chua (GLO) – 6.0ppg, 4.4rpg, 21.2 EFF (+1)
- After playing a season-low 5 minutes on Christmas Day, the former Ateneo big man has played an average of 20.5 minutes in the Batang Pier’s last two encounters. His scoring hasn’t really shot up, but his rebounding and blocking seem to have benefited (7.0rpg and 2.0bpg in his last two games).

3. Ian Sangalang (SMC) – 10.3ppg, 6.4rpg, 26.2 EFF (same)
- Sangalang didn’t have super numbers in his match-up against top pick Greg Slaughter, but the former had the last laugh as the Mixers handed the Kings only their second loss of the season. Sangalang’s offense has hit a snag of late (2/11 from the field in his last two games), but he’s the type of kid who can easily bounce back and break out.

2. Terrence Romeo (GLO) – 14.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.7apg, 1.3 triples per game, 27.8 EFF (same)
- The fearless Romeo broke out of his shooting slump to average 14.0ppg in his last three games. His FG% still isn’t pretty (36% overall), but at least his FT shooting has picked up. He’s made nearly 90% of his free throws in his last three matches – 23/26.

Terrence Romeo is still a ways off from dislodging Big Greg at the top.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5)

1. Greg Slaughter (GIN) – 15.3ppg, 10.0rpg, 2.0bpg, 1.2apg, 53.8 FG%, 37.8 EFF (same)
- The loss to SMC casted a shadow on Ginebra’s luster, but it didn’t really sink Slaughter’s stock. By far, the big man from Ohio is still the best rookie of the 2013-2014 season, so much so that his name has been floated as a possible addition to the World-Cup-bound Gilas Pilipinas roster. I, for one, wouldn’t mind one bit.

Outside looking in:
Jeric Teng (UST) – 13.0 EFF
Eliud Poligrates (TNT) – 11.8 EFF
JR Cawaling (SMC) – 11.2 EFF

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