The Top Five PBA Centers Right Now (April 15, 2014)


Do you want to know why the center position is one of the deepest in the PBA? Here’s why – three of the top five most efficient players in the pros right now are centers. And the other two guys on this list? One is supposedly an over-the-hump big man who loves the three-point shot too much, and the other is an underrated rookie center who has the potential to be a big time contributor. 

Without further ado, here they are – the top five centers in the 2013-2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup as of the morning of April 15, 2014 (as always, this is based on the Player Efficiency ratings as calculated by PBA-Online.net):

Has there ever been a time the PBA has had so many awesome big men?


5. Raymond Almazan (ROS) - 7.3ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.0bpg, .600 FG%, 25.4 EFF
- Here’s what’s impressive about this former Letran Knight – he plays just 15 minutes a game and already puts up solid numbers on a team that already has Gilas big man Beau Belga. In the two games he played 20 or more minutes, Almazan averaged around 11 points and 8 rebounds. Wow, right? Give this kid a year or two, and a lot more playing time, and he can really break out.

4. Mick Pennisi (BAR) - 10.2ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.6 triples per game, .489 3pt%, .537 FG%, 26.6 EFF
- Why, yes, this half-Aussie is nearly 40, but he can still hang with the up-and-coming slotmen of the PBA. He can neither move nor jump as well as he once could, but he still certainly packs a wallop, especially from long range. To illustrate, he is fourth overall in three-point percentage, tops among all non-guards, and he actually leads the entire league (bar none) in total three-pointers made. He’s been in the league since 2000, but, believe it or not, this season is his best three-point shooting season.

Mick Pennisi hasn't shot this well since he started his PBA career.

3. Greg Slaughter (GIN) - 11.5ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.0apg, 1.1bpg, .567 FG%, 32.1 EFF
- Gregzilla finally piled up a double-double in Ginebra’s last game (a loss to Alaska), dropping 20 points and 13 rebounds. That was, however, an exception to the norm as his production has been neutered relative to what he was making in the Philippine Cup. Still, the young center is on pace to remain as the league’s top rookie by season’s end, and should be one of the most promising slotmen in recent memory. As for the Gin Kings’ chances of returning to the Finals? Well, not so promising.

2. Asi Taulava (AIR) - 12.6ppg, 9.9rpg, 1.0apg, 32.8 EFF
- Who leads the league in double-doubles right now? You guessed it. This 41-year old half-Tongan is still pounding the block and taking names. Oh, and did I mention that his Air 21 Express have also broken into the quarterfinal round? Yes, he has been huge in helping coach Franz Pumaren’s unit overachieve this conference. One of the best to ever play in the PBA. Boom.

Asi Taulava continues to defy Father Time.

1. June Mar Fajardo (SMB) - 12.2ppg, 10.7rpg, 1.5apg, 1.8bpg, .553 FG%, 35.9 EFF
- After a lackluster first game against Talk N Text, Fajardo has been on a tear, dropping big games one after the other. He is just a two-way monster who hasn’t even reached his true potential yet. As a bonus? His Beermen have the inside track to getting the second seed in the next round. And a second straight Best Player of the Conference award? Not too farfetched if you ask me.

June Mar Fajardo has been the most dominant inside force in the PBA this season.
  

Outside looking in:
Sonny Thoss (ALA) - 24.5 EFF
Beau Belga (ROS) - 22.1 EFF
Kelly Williams (TNT) - 20.4 EFF


Images by Paul Ryan Tan and Pranz Kaeno Billones/Sports 5. 


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