The Top 5 Small Forwards of #PBA2015

The small forward spot has been quite an interesting position to watch this past season in the PBA. It remains to be populated by some of the most versatile players in the country — from do-it-all players to sharpshooters to high-flyers to defensive specialists. Gone are the days, too, when 6’0-6’2 guys played swingman. In this day age, the default size seems to be around 6’3-6’5, with some even being as tall as 6’7 (Hello, JDV!). Here we list down the five most productive SFs of this past season. The top dog here may not surprise you, but a couple might make your head shake or make you raise your brows. 

Without further ado, here they are – the top five small forwards of the 2014-2015 PBA season:

*This is based on the Player Efficiency ratings as calculated by

5. Reil Cervantes (BLA) - 11.9ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.3apg, 36.1 FG%, 23.7 EFF
- Originally a part of the Kia Sorento, this former FEU Tamaraw was dealt to the Blackwater Elite midseason. Cervantes’s production didn’t drop, though, as the 6’4 swingman showcased his wares on both ends of the floor. He spread the floor well on most nights and was a double-double threat on some. He, in fact, scored a career-high 34 points against the NLEX Road Warriors in a Philippine Cup game last December. Pretty good for a guy who has bounced around quite a few times in the league.

Reil Cervantes was a vital offensive option for both expansion clubs this past season.

4. Matt Ganuelas-Rosser (TNT) - 8.5ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1bpg, 50.6 FG%, 25.6 EFF
- For the first half of the season, MGR was the strongest threat to Stanley Pringle’s hold on the ROY race’s pole position. Rosser isn’t a typical wing player — he doesn’t possess the best handles, and he definitely doesn’t have the touch from rainbow country. He does, however, possess an uncanny degree of athleticism and a surprising acumen for blocking shots. He has drawn comparisons to Gabe Norwood mainly because of his frame and his defensive effort, but once he polishes his perimeter game, he may not just be Gabe’s equal.

Rookie sensation Matt Rosser looks to have a fruitful career in the PBA.

3. Joe Devance (PUR) - 10.4ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.6apg, 1.2 triples per game, 32.2 3pt%, 45.1 FG%, 26.1 EFF
- JDV is the ultimate nightmare if you’re an opposing small forward. The Hawaiian-born 6’7 swingman can put the ball on the floor, post up, and stroke the trifecta. He is a veritable triple-threat, and he is one reason the Star Hotshots are so difficult to match-up against. Put someone as big, and JDV can easily dribble around his defender. Put someone quick, and, chances are, he will just shoot over them. Such a luxury to have, this fellow.

Joe Devance remains as one of the most dangerous perimeter threats in the PBA.

2. JC Intal (BAR) - 12.8ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4 triples per game, 39.9 FG%, 28.2 EFF
- Terrence Romeo may have been named the season’s Most Improved Player, but I think Intal might have something to say about that. The newlywed small forward from the Barako Bull Energy put up career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, and three-point field goals this past season, turning a lot of heads and raising his team’s stock, especially in the third conference. The 32-year old, 8-year veteran may finally be coming into his own in the PBA, and the Energy would do well to harness his potential and maximize his production.

JC Intal had the best season yet of his pro career.

1. Calvin Abueva (ALA) - 12.9ppg, 8.9rpg, 2.3apg, 44.7 FG%, 33.0 EFF
- No surprise here, right? I mean, look at the fact that this 6’3 Pampanga native nearly put up a double-double line for the entire season. He may have lost his outside touch, but the man called The Beast has gotten better at doing the dirty things like scrambling for those loose balls, finding his teammates in their sweet spots, and scoring the basket in traffic. After a bit of a sophomore slump last season, the former King Stag has returned with a vengeance. Don’t be shocked if he gets a call-up to be part of the Gilas pool, and don’t be taken aback should he pose a stronger MVP challenge next season.

Calvin Abueva continues to be one of the most menacing and versatile superstars in the league.

Honorable Mentions:
Sean Anthony (MER) - 23.0 EFF
Jared Dillinger (MER) - 22.8 EFF
Gabe Norwood (ROS) - 21.7 EFF

Images by Pranz Kaeno Billones & Paul Ryan Tan/Sports5.

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