#PBA2017 Rookie Ladder 1.0

Images from the PBA/Inquirer.

There is no doubt that this is one of the most promising rookie classes we’ve seen in quite some time. We have a bunch of players who have experience playing for Gilas at the senior level, we have a star and champion form the ABL, we have players hailing from the US, and we have collegiate standouts. Mac Belo, in particular, has been hella solid so far early this season, while a handful of others have also had stellar performances. At least a couple of the guys on this list have a realistic shot to be not just impact players but, quite possibly, star players in the years to come. That’s how good this rookie class can be.

And so let us take a bit of a closer look at these newbies. Without further ado, here is the very first rookie ladder of the 2016-2017 PBA season (stats accurate as of December 9, 2016):

5) Ed Daquioag (MER) - 14.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.5apg.
- The former UST Growling Tiger has been aggressive and effective for the Bolts. He had a quiet debut in a close loss to Blackwater, but he did explode for 23 points as Meralco beat sister team NLEX. He isn’t the starting PG yet, but if he keeps this up, don’t be surprised if he supplants Baser Amer in the first five.

4) Carl Cruz (ALA) - 12.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.0apg, 1.7spg, 2.0 triples per game.
- The former FEU Tamaraw announced himself with aplomb in Alaska’s first game of the season, dropping 20 points and 14 rebounds as the Aces absorbed a close defeat to NLEX. He had an 11-point outing in their next game and then put up 6 points in a win over GlobalPort. Cruz may not be able to sustain this level of production, but as long as he’s shooting well, count on the Aces to ride the wave.

3) Jio Jalalon (STA) - 13.7ppg, 6.3rpg, 2.0apg, 2.3spg, 1.3 triples per game
- Jalalon has been quietly consistent for Star, proving himself a very capable two-way threat for the Hotshots. He has showcased his scoring punch, his ability to rebound, and his tenacity on defense. He is the biggest reason Justin Melton and Mark Barroca are looking over their shoulders, and it seems like only a matter of time before Jalalon really breaks out big time.

2) Matthew Wright (PHX) - 17.5ppg, 6.0rpg, 3.0apg, 3.0 triples per game.
- The ballyhooed Fil-Canadian missed the Fuel Masters’ first game, but he made up for it by torching the nets in the next two, helping Phoenix go 2-0 after their opening loss. As expected, Wright has shown how dangerous he is from beyond the arc, but he has done other stuff, too, like rebound and hand out assists. Particularly impressive was his outing against SMB, where he outplayed and outshot the Beermen’s Marcio Lassiter. 

1) Mac Belo (BLA) - 21.0ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, 1.7 triples per game.
- Belo’s numbers aren’t supposed to be rookie numbers. After turning a lot of heads in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge, the former King Tamaraw has really blossomed into a fast-rising star for the Elite. Many felt he was PBA-ready as far back as two years ago, and his current performance has proven those believers right. Right now, he is the runaway Rookie of the Year favorite and should be a cornerstone for the 2017 Gilas Pilipinas pool as they try to do well in a number of tournaments next year.

Outside looking in: 
RR Pogoy (TNT) - 9.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.3 triples per game.
Joseph Eriobu (MAH) - 7.3ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.7spg.
Mike Tolomia (ROS) - 7.3ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.3apg.




Next Post »
0 Comment