Week 2 provided us with quite a bit of excitement as early leaders Alaska remain undefeated while crowd darlings Ginebra remain winless in 3 tries. This early, San Mig Coffee and Ginebra have both replaced their imports, with San Mig bringing back Denzel Bowles in hopes of another Cinderella run at the title.
The season is starting to take shape, let’s see where our rankings are at.
Best Player of the Conference
- Sol Mercado (Prev Rank: 2): In a 1-0 week, Sol Mercado once again was the engine that made this Globalport team run, with 12 points and 13 assists in 33 minutes in their latest game. The Sol Train is chugging along and if they didn’t collapse against Barako last week, the Batangpier would’ve been sitting on an immaculate 3-0 record right now.
- Marc Caguioa (Prev Rank: 3): Ginebra may be winless, but Marc Caguioa is this team’s heart and soul right now, constantly top scoring for his team in their games. The Spark has definitely shown that he’s the best local player right now, averaging a team best 22ppg last week and is hell bent to right the Ginebra ship.
- Gary David (Prev Rank: 0): Yup, we have two members of the Batangpier on the BPC list. After three games, he’s averaging 23 points and taking the role of the team’s go-to scorer.
On the bubble: Josh Urbiztondo, James Yap, Calvin Abueva, Mac Cardona
Best Import of the Conference
- Renaldo Balkman, Petron (Prev Rank: 3): With Petron going on a strong 2-0 week, Renaldo Balkman was absolutely tearing it up. With Fajardo able to hold down the Center spot, Balkman effectively becomes possibly the biggest mismatch the PBA has ever seen. In Petron’s two wins, he averaged 31 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks, plus some crazy, crazy dunks.
- Justin Williams (Prev Rank: 0): With MMDA getting all the attention for Globalport’s strong success, Justin Williams has surprisingly gone under the radar. In their game vs. Ginebra, he exploded for 23 points, 23 rebounds and 8 blocks.
- Robert Dozier (Prev Rank: 0): Dozier is the biggest reason Alaska is 3-0 so far in the conference. While he’s not the most explosive, Dozier is possibly the most well-rounded of the imports we have now. He can dominate inside with a variety of moves while also occasionally hitting a trey.
On the bubble: Michael Dunigan
Most Improved Player
- Chris Ross (Prev Rank: 1): Chris Ross is continuing his steady play as the Bolts’ starting point guard. While the Bolts are struggling now, Ross (aside from a bit of foul trouble) is definitely carrying his weight and playing well for Meralco. Against Rain or Shine, Ross contributed 9 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. If he starts playing with more control and smarts, he has a big chance to be the league’s next break-out point guard.
- Jay Washington (Prev Rank: 0): With Petron hit by injuries, Washington has surprisingly ended up with the front court minutes and has responded with 15.5 points and 6 rebounds in two wins for the Blaze Boosters. Think about it, when Balkman sits, Washington comes in for him. This Petron team is too strong on paper to struggle the rest of the conference.
- Danny Seigle (Prev Rank: 3): The Bulls struggled in their lone game last week, but Seigle still managed to score 9 points and 4 rebounds in 16 minutes. No reason for him not to continue his renewed production this season.
On the bubble: Mark Yee, KG Caneleta, Ryan Arana
Rookie of the Conference
- Calvin Abueva (Prev Rank: 1): In three games this conference, Abueva’s averaging 10 rebounds a game while playing the SF spot for Alaska. What’s more impressive though, is his fearless demeanour while going up against imports that tower over him.
- June Mar Fajardo (Prev Rank 3): Finally, JMF showed up and absolutely made Filipinos proud this week as he was able to match-up vs. opposing imports. While his numbers (13 points and 8 rebounds in 2 games) can’t compare against the imports, his presence, strength and size down low has surely been a major factor in Petron’s renewed play.
- Vic Manuel (Prev Rank: 0): One of the key pieces Meralco received in the Sol Mercado trade is definitely showing his value, scoring 18 points and grabbing 8 rebounds in their loss against Alaska. For Meralco fans, Tito Vic definitely eases the pain of losing Sol Mercado… a little.
On the bubble: None
Coach of the Conference
- Luigi Trillo (Prev Rank: 0): Coach Luigi has led the Aces to a league leading 3-0 record early in the season. The Aces have been doing it with defense, holding opponents to an average 35% shooting.
- Junel Baculi (Prev Rank: 2): Globalport continuing to play well so far, no egos have been hurt (none that we know of at least). Not only does he have the MMDA playing well, but he’s also getting great games out of Yee and Salvador as well.
- Olsen Racela (Prev Rank: 0): Someway, somehow, Olsen actually got Petron to play up to their potential. Let’s see if the Boosters can keep it up.
On the bubble: Rajko Toroman
The season’s definitely starting to shape up with more and more storylines slowly unfolding. Do let us know what you guys think of this week’s movements and picks, comment below!