The Top Five PBA Power Forwards Right Now (May 31, 2014)

Many of today’s great players are power forwards, which explains why this is one of the most crowded positions in the league. In fact, four of the guys on this list are among the top ten most efficient players so far this season, and the fifth guy here is actually #11. That just illustrates how our own brand of PFs have been quite dominant. Another interesting thing is that there are very distinct kinds of power forwards in the current game: we have the classic bruiser who does nothing but score off open chances and grabs rebounds, we have the athletic freaks with long limbs who block shots better than actual centers, and we have the stretch 4s who space the floor with their perimeter game.

Without further ado, here they are – the top five power forwards in the 2013-2014 PBA season as of the morning of May 31, 2014 (as always, this is based on the Player Efficiency ratings as calculated by

Arwind Santos leads some of the best players in the PBA who are
part of our top five power forwards list.

5. Marc Pingris (SMC) - 8.0ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.6apg, .501 FG%, 30.7 EFF
- Ping has recently hit a bit of bad press, what with his punching Meralco’s James Sena. He’s also been bit by the injury bug, which could even hamper his game all the way to the 2014 FIBA World Cup, but, hey, of we’re being honest here then we might as well say Ping doesn’t give a rat’s ass about all those things. He’ll report for duty, grab those rebounds, play great defense, hit some shots, and make his stamp on the game. That’s just the way he is, and that’s exactly why we all like him.

4. Ranidel De Ocampo (TNT) - 15.2ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.3apg, 2.2 triples per game, .418 3pt%, .847 FT%, 31.8 EFF
- RDO is perhaps the best floor-spacing 4 in the country. I mean, he knocks down more than 2 triples per game at a 42% clip, which is already among the league’s elite. In terms of 3pt%, he trails only Mick Pennisi, who’s hitting at a .420 rate. In terms of total threes made, only ROS snipers Jeff Chan and Paul Lee have made more. Yes, RDO is better at nailing those trifectas than JV Casio, James Yap, Sunday Salvacion, Larry Fonacier, or Marcio Lassiter this season. That. Is. Insane.

The floor-spacing maestro: Ranidel De Ocampo.
(image by Paolo Papa/Sports 5)

3. Jay Washington (GLO) - 15.3ppg, 7.6rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2spg, 1.2 triples per game, 33.7 EFF
- J-Wash is playing with a chip on his shoulder after getting traded away by the Petron Blaze Boosters last season. He’s finally separated from Arwind Santos and, guess what, they’re both among the top PFs in the league! J-Wash is like the jack-of-all-trades of PBA power forwards. He can pretty much do everything at a high level, but the problem is he just doesn’t bring the kind of leadership and winning quality that a lot of other guys on this list do. The J-Wash of today is a stat-muncher, and, sadly, not much else.

2. Japeth Aguilar (GIN) - 13.8ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.1apg, 2.3bpg, .501 FG%, 34.9 EFF
- Japeth’s numbers have been buoyed by his really strong showing in the first conference, and though his stats have dipped in the Commish Cup and Govs’ Cup, he can still occasionally reminds us of why he was a sleeper Best Player of Conference candidate in the Philippine Cup. Nobody in the league is as athletically gifted as this guy, and, combined with his size and skill-set, the sky really is the limit. It’s just unfortunate that, now that Japeth is 27 years old and in his fourth PBA season, we are still focusing on his potential.

When will Japeth Aguilar finally add consistency to his skill-set?
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5)

1. Arwind Santos (SMB) - 15.4ppg, 8.7rpg, 1.9apg, 1.0spg, 1.1bpg, .303 3pt%, 35.9 EFF
- Last year’s MVP is playing like he deserved it. With June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, and a coach/consultant like Todd Purves on the SMB team, the spotlight is hardly on the former FEU Tamaraw, and it seems that’s exactly how he likes it. He isn’t as flashy as before, but he still definitely gets the job done. I mean, he puts up great numbers in the five major stat cats and hits better than 30% of his treys. Too bad he just cannot seem to push the Beermen over the hump and get that elusive conference title.

Arwind Santos continues to play at an extremely high level for the hard-luck San Miguel Beermen.
(image by Pranz Kaeno Billones/Sports 5)

Outside looking in:
Gabby Espinas (ALA) - 29.2 EFF
Cliff Hodge (MER) - 27.3 EFF
Reynel Hugnatan (MER) - 26.1 EFF 

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