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The elimination round of the 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup is over, with Alaska and San Miguel nabbing the top two spots for outright semi-finals berths. Rain or Shine came in at no. 3, while seven other teams shall slug it out in the playoffs which start on Christmas Day.
Behind the success of most squads are the amazing individual performances of players which stood out throughout the elimination round.
Here are the 12 best players of the league through 11 games.
12. Aldrech Ramos, Mahindra Enforcers – 15.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG
Aldrech Ramos’ entry to Mahindra made him the team’s premier scoring option among big men, as he can score from almost anywhere on the floor. He led the league in true shooting percentage (65.2) and effective field goal percentage (63.3) while being in the top 5 of both win shares and win shares per 48. He shot a whopping 57.6 percent from three-point area this conference.
11. Calvin Abueva, Alaska Aces – 13.4 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.4 SPG
One of the league’s all-around players, Abueva maintained the same level of energy whenever he hit the floor. On offense he creates havoc using his ability to explode to the rim. In transition, he is virtually unguardable. On defense, he can take anyone from one all the way to even the center spot. He plucks away rebounds from players 5 inches (or more) taller than him. And he’s created invaluable impact while only playing 21.4 minutes a game.
10. Raymond Almazan, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters – 10.9 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.2 BPG
The lanky big man was brought to the Elasto Painters side as the team attempted to solve its lack of bigs. In his third year in the league, Almazan is becoming the two-way big man Rain or Shine has hoped he would be. Almazan has provided the Elasto Painters with the presence to protect the interior. He has his best rebounding splits of 16.7/21.5/19.2 (OREB%/DREB%/TREB%), averaging 9.3 total rebounds/game while playing only 24.6 minutes/game. On offense, Almazan is slowly giving Rain or Shine an additional option in the post, and is also the one who cleans the glass and gives his team second chance opportunities.
9. Vic Manuel, Alaska Aces – 16.4 PPG, 8 RPG, 1.2 APG
Manuel has given Alaska a solid post option, and he has been one of the most consistent Aces this conference. Manuel has shot over 50 percent from the field, mostly from shots around the rim. He is the Aces’ leading scorer with 16.4 points/game. That ability to finish and bully his opponents with the low block has provided more damage for the league-leading Aces. He also leads the Aces in win shares and win shares per 48.
8. Asi Taulava, NLEX Road Warriors – 19.7 PPG, 12.1 RPG
There’s nothing better than a 42-year-old big man averaging nearly identical stats to those he had put up during his best seasons in the league. Taulava has shot over 50 percent from the floor, and most of his baskets are a result of him working hard for the rebounds and getting good position underneath. It’s amazing to see the evergreen big man still relevant in the league, and he sure would be for the next few conferences.
7. Arwind Santos, San Miguel Beermen – 15.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.6 BPG
It seems Santos had just picked up from where he left off during the last Philippine Cup where he was crowned Finals MVP. The defending champion’s premier power forward has delivered just the way the San Miguel system needs him to. Aside from the usual 15+ points and 7+ rebounds he gives his team, Santos has been a better decision-maker and floor-spacer, complementing his team well and helping them succeed. Santos has also shot 29.3 percent from three-point area, the second-best clip in any season of his career.
NEXT PAGE: The Sinister Six >>
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6. Jayson Castro, Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters – 20.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.2 SPG
Jimmy Alapag’s departure eventually paved the way for the full transition of Jayson Castro as the leader of the team. Castro increased his field goal attempts from 12 during the last Philippine Cup to 16.4 a game. He has also taken 2.3 more three-point attempts per game. Castro also increased his assist rate from 28.2 to 30.5 this conference. He leads the league in assists and is the Tropang Texters’ leading scorer.
5. Terrence Romeo, Globalport Batang Pier – 23.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.8 APG
In his last four games, Romeo averaged 28.8 points, 3.5 assists, 43 percent shooting, and 11.3 free throws, as a more aggressive version of himself. Right now, he is Globalport’s top scorer and if he continues to play with more maturity and better decision-making, there’s no limit to how good Globalport can get. People know what he is capable of, and it is a matter of doing all the right things to help his team get to another level.
4. Sean Anthony, NLEX Road Warriors – 20.6 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 3.8 APG
The NLEX Road Warriors traded for Anthony to solve the woes at the four spot, and it turned out Sean Anthony was giving the team a lot more. The bull-strong, do-it-all forward had notched eight double-doubles in the elimination round and is one of the few players with a double-double in the league. His conference included setting a career-high 37 points, which broke his 32-point output he set weeks ago.
3. Stanley Pringle, Globalport Batang Pier – 21.3 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 5.6 APG
In only his second year in the league, reigning Rookie of the Year Stanley Pringle has emerged as Globalport’s leader. With his incredible shot-making ability and vision, Pringle has put up huge number every night, en route to leading his team in win shares, true shooting percentage, and Player Efficiency Rating (PER). He is also shooting 49.1 percent from three-point area, one of the best clips in the league.
1b. June Mar Fajardo, San Miguel Beermen – 23.1 PPG, 14.4 RPG, 1.8 BPG
This conference, the league has seen how far Fajardo has come, and what’s scary is that he has not yet reached the ceiling of that potential. Fajardo is now casually draining jumpers from time to time; he has better footwork; and he uses all of his skills effectively to evade the defense. He has become a better reader when he has the ball in the low post as well. Fajardo put up monster numbers as expected, shooting over 57 percent from the field. It is clear he is still the main difference-maker for the Beermen.
1a. Greg Slaughter, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel – 23.5 PPG, 15.1 RPG, 1.4 BPG
With Ginebra finally utilizing Slaughter’s strengths and helping him live up to his potential, the big man has become one of the most promising bigs in the league today. Slaughter leads the league in both scoring and rebounding, enjoying big minutes as the main inside option of the crowd darlings. Slaughter’s PER increased from 23.3 last season to 29.2; his usage rate is also higher from 24.1 to 28.5; and he is logging 38.4 minutes/game from only 28.8 last year. The big man also leads the league in win shares (2.4) and win shares per 48 (0.271), and is the fourth best in defensive rating. He has been vital for Ginebra’s best elimination round record in over a year, and people can expect the team to keep going to their premier big as he is the squad’s biggest — literally and figuratively — strength.
Agree or disagree with our list? Sound-off in our comments section below
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