05 December 2014

Is the PBA Unimpressed with Asaytono's Numbers?

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will soon celebrate its 40th anniversary. And to honor the players that helped the league achieved that milestone, a tribute will be organized to the 40 greatest players of all time.

A few years ago, the PBA selected the 25 greatest players, which means only 15 slots are up for grabs. The selection was limited to local or Fil-foreign players and excluded imports.

The 25 previously named to the list are Johnny Abarrientos, Bogs Adornado, Ato Agustin, Francis Arnaiz, Ricardo Brown, Allan Caidic, Hector Calma, Philip Cezar, Atoy Co, Jerry Codinera, Kenneth Duremdes, Bernie Fabiosa, Ramon Fernandez, Danny Florencio, Abet Guidaben, Freddie Hubalde, Jaworski, Jojo Lastimosa, Lim Eng Beng, Samboy Lim, Ronnie Magsanoc, Vergel Meneses, Manny Paner, Benjie Paras and Alvin Patrimonio.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud disclosed that the “unveiling” will be done on April 2015 at the Resorts World Manila.

The seven-man body formed to select the remaining 15 players was headed by chairman Freddie Webb with Robert Jaworski, PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio, PBA vice chairman Robert Non, Chairman of the House Committee on Games and Amusement and Rep. Elpidio Barzaga of Cavite, PBA press corps president Barry Pascua and Quinito Henson as members.

Everything appeared uneventful and was considered moot and academic since everyone knows who really deserved the award. Hence, it was surprising that the selection process became a trending topic recently, no thanks to a very significant omission and selection blunder.

Everyone who followed the league in the 1980’s to the 90’s are very familiar with the 6-foot-3 power-forward Nelson Asaytono and in what he can do.

The former third pick in the 1989 draft spent 17 seasons in the league and joined 5 different teams. He had his best game when he was with Swift (1992-1995) and San Miguel (1997-1998).

The former University of Manila star is fifth in the PBA all-time scoring list with with 12,268 total points, behind only Ramon Fernandez, Abet Guidaben, Alvin Patrimonio and Atoy Co. He is also No. 4 all time in free throws made with 2,999, 11th in the all-time rebounding list (4,469) and ninth overall in most games played at 820.

All throughout his career, Asaytono achieved the following:
  • 3-time PBA Mythical First Team (1992, 1993, 1997)
  • 4-time PBA Mythical Second Team (1994, 1995, 1996, 1998)
  • 2-time PBA Best Player of the Conference (1997 All-Filipino Cup, 1998 All Filipino Cup)
  • 10-Time PBA All-Star (1989-1993, 1995-99)
By statistics alone, Asaytono really stood out. So, why was he snubbed by the selection committee? Do these numbers pale in comparison, for example, with those of Marc Pingris?

As an 11-year veteran, Pingris can only muster 4,191 points and 3,858 rebounds. If he can maintain his production in the next six years , which is a very big assumption, then Pingris may be able to surpass Asaytono’s total number of rebounds. However, in terms of scoring, that is highly doubtful.

We still haven’t heard any explanation on how the system of selection was made, but it will probably include some lame excuses about Asaytono’s out-of-court behaviour or something to that effect.

1 comment:

  1. Just seen this... and I still hate this. Nelson Asaytono, Bong Hawkins, Yoyoy Villamin, Abe King, Arnie Tuadles, Jeffrey Cariaso, Olsen Racela and Danny Seigle all deserve spots on that list.