The Top Five PBA Small Forwards Right Now (March 5, 2014)

The small forward spot has not been the deepest in the PBA. The top guy on this list doesn’t even break into the top 15 of the league in terms of efficiency rating, but that doesn’t mean there’s no potential game-changer here. On the contrary, the PBA’s SFs have some of the most versatile players in the country – guys who can play, and be effective in, multiple positions.

Without further ado, here they are – the top five small forwards in the 2013-2014 PBA season as of March 5, 2014 (as always, this is based on the Player Efficiency ratings as calculated by

Who else should be among these guys as the top small forwards in the PBA?
(composite image by Enzo Flojo/HoopNut)

5. Danny Seigle (TNT) – 10.7ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.1apg, 27.4 EFF
- Seigle has actually been spotting time more as a PF than an SF, but, let’s face it, he’s a natural swingman. And, despite the fact he’ll turn 38 by midyear, he’s still a productive hoopster for the Tropang Texters. He won’t drop 20 on a nightly basis the way he did way back in the early 2000s, but he’s as serviceable a combo-forward the Texters can get at this point. If Seigle can regain his touch from long range, we might even see a resurgence of sorts from the 1999 Rookie of the Year and two-time Best Player of the Conference.
4. Calvin Abueva (ALA) – 10.4ppg, 8.1rpg, 1.9apg, 1.0spg, 28.1 EFF
- Abueva doesn’t seem as beastly as he was in 2013, but he can still pack a wallop. His numbers suggest he’s still a double-double threat, and that he’s still a defensive dynamo. Sure, he won’t be scoring in bunches, but with Rob Dozier back, Sonny Thoss not splitting time with Gilas, and guys like Cyrus Baguio, DonDon Hontiveros, and JV Casio looking relatively healthy, there won’t be a ton of pressure on Abueva to be a world-beater. Still, coach Luigi Trillo has stated that the Beast’s role on Alaska has been modified a little. Instead of having to bang bodies down low as a stretch 4, the former San Sebastian Golden Stag will see more time on the wings as a comb SF/SG. Whether that means better production, though, is still something up in the air.

3. Jared Dillinger (MER) – 11.7ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.9apg, 28.7 EFF
- JD is playing the best basketball of his life on his new team, and that’s why he returns to the Gilas national pool. His scoring, rebounding, playmaking, and free throw shooting numbers are at all-time highs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to build on that as the season progresses. Dillinger seems to be the perfect point-forward type for Meralco – big enough to guard opposing forwards, but skilled enough to be a big playmaker and allow guys like Gary David and John Wilson to take and make those long toms. Dillinger as one of the country’s top SFs? You bet.

2. Chris Lutz (SMB) - 13.3ppg, 3.9rpg, 4.6apg, 29.0 EFF
- Even with Lassiter posting great numbers for Petron/San Miguel, Lutz has been able to carve out his own niche in the main rotation. Even more impressive, though, is how the Marshall alum has thrived as a big wingman who can hit from anywhere on the floor and find guys in easy spots. I reckon his minutes might take a bit of a hit in the Commish Cup (Arwind Santos might slide down to SF as coach Biboy Ravanes is expected to utilize a twin-tower combo featuring June Mar Fajardo and Josh Boone), but he should still be a vital piece of the championship puzzle for the Beermen.

1. KG Cañaleta (TNT) – 15.6ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.2apg, 2.4 triples per game, 30.5 EFF
- Owing to his great stats as a member of Air 21, Cañaleta remains the most productive small forward in the PBA. Of course, it stands to reason that his numbers might nosedive as a member of TNT, mainly because the lion’s share of the touches will go to the likes of Jayson Castro, Larry Fonacier, Ranidel De Ocampo, and import Richard Howell, but I expect he will still play a major role for the Texters, who failed to defend their Philippine Cup crown this year. Look for Cañaleta to eat up some of the minutes of the aging Kelly Williams and Danny Seigle. He won’t do a lot of driving and post-up plays, but look for KG to be a designated sniper who will stretch the floor and create mismatches on the perimeter.

Outside looking in:
JC Intal (BAR) – 27.3 EFF
Joe Devance (SMC) – 25.6 EFF
Chris Ellis (GIN) – 23.6 EFF

*For those who are shaking their heads and wondering where Gabe Norwood is, unfortunately, the ROS and Gilas Pilipinas defensive specialist’s EFF rating prevents him from breaking into this list. He is ninth overall among all SFs.

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5 Comment

KG could have been a good addition to the Gilas pool: a taller shooter who can match-up better (in size) with Euro teams


bobo nang gumawa neto


Troll wag ka na


True, but needs to work on his defense and consistency. Size-wise and shooting-wise, he is a good player for fiba.


Nah. I don't think he's good enough. He was only scoring big numbers in Air21 because there hardly was any one in his team who was doing well, and that's also the reason why Air 21 was at the bottom. Honestly, he really sucks as a basketball player. He doesn't really play to win, even when he does makes shots.

Plus, he doesn't fit the kind of player that a national team needs in his playing position. He needs to be at least a good ballhandler and quick enough to run the floor with the ball and get teammates involve, apart from the required talent in scoring. KG doesn't have that. There are plenty other players out there who are ten times better, like Chris Ellis, Joe Devance, Jared Dillinger. The international style of game is not forgiving of players who aren't skilled enough.