The Top Five PBA Small Forwards Right Now (May 23, 2014)

Small forwards haven’t exactly dominated this season, but we did see one swingman really step up in the previous conference. Of course, I’m talking about Air 21’s Sean Anthony, who has frequently bounced around in his young career the league. With Anthony waxing hot, the Express surprised a lot of people in the Commish Cup playoffs. Is there anyone else, however, who can make this list alongside Anthony? How about last year’s Rookie of the Year, Calvin Abueva? How about guys like Chris Lutz or Jared Dillinger? Let’s see.

Jared Dillinger is tops among the PBA's small forwards at
this point in the 2013-2014 season.

Without further ado, here they are – the top five small forwards in the 2013-2014 PBA season as of the morning of May 23, 2014 (as always, this is based on the Player Efficiency ratings as calculated by

5. KG Cañaleta (TNT) - 11.6ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.9 triples per game, .332 3pt%, 24.4 EFF
- After one whole conference as a Tropang Texter, Cañaleta now seems to be comfortable with his new team. He knows what he’s supposed to do on the floor and, for the most part, he has been able to deliver for TNT. I mean, check out his average number of threes per game. This is a 6’5 swingman who’s as streaky as hell, and with much of the defense locked in on Jayson Castro and Ranidel De Ocampo, the situation is ripe for Cañaleta to have a superb breakout game anytime soon.

4. Calvin Abueva (ALA) - 8.6ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.6apg, 24.7 EFF
- Abueva’s numbers are generally down compared to his monster stats in his freshmen pro season, but, despite that, nobody can afford to sleep on this guy. Say what you want about his shooting woes, his defensive inconsistency, or superfluous antics, but remember this – his motor is non-stop, He might make a slew of bad decisions, but that won’t stop him from being on perpetual attack mode. Even without the beastly numbers, this guy still deserves to be called The Beast.

The Beast has quieted down a bit, but in no way has he been tamed.

3. Sean Anthony (AIR) - 9.1ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.0apg, .371 3pt%, 25.2 EFF
- Anthony made the Commish Cup playoffs his coming out party. It was just a pity he got injured and that we won’t see him till maybe Air 21’s fourth or fifth game of the Govs’ Cup. This guy has always been a dependable and tough-as-nails energy guy, but he showed a different level of aggression last conference. He just didn’t fear anybody who was put in front of him, and, perhaps more importantly, he shot the lights out from long distance. Is Anthony a superstar-in-the-making? Quite possibly, but he’ll have to continue playing aggressively to prove his handful of impressive games aren’t just a collection of flukes.

2. JC Intal (BAR) - 10.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.5apg, 1.2 triples per game, 25.3 EFF
- The Rocket has slowly become Barako Bull’s most dependable local player. He has shown much improvement in both scoring and defending, especially in terms of long range shooting and rebounding. We don’t see much in terms of his leaping and dunking ability, but the Energy Cola don’t seem to mind as long as the former Blue Eagle can continue to be a solid performer at the wings.

JC Intal is a baby rocket no more. The kid is blossoming into a bona fide star for the Energy Cola.

1. Jared Dillinger (MER) - 11.3ppg, 4.9rpg, 2.9apg, .328 3pt%, 27.1 EFF
- The Gilas Pilipinas pool member is putting up career numbers for Meralco, and he is gradually morphing into the face of the franchise. Dillinger remains one of the most versatile players in the PBA as he can play, and be effective at, every position except maybe for center. He is a handful when he goes strong to the basket, while he has also shown vast improvement in terms of his three-point shooting. With a couple more good pieces built around Dillinger, the Bolts might just make the jump from mediocre pretender to dangerous contender.

Jared Dillinger is slowly emerging as the go-to-guy for the Meralco Bolts.

Outside looking in:
Chris Lutz (SMB) - 24.0 EFF
Danny Seigle (TNT) - 23. 7 EFF
Joe Devance (SMC) - 23.7 EFF 

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

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