The PBA’s 40 Greatest Players list in 2015 may have some inadvertent snubs or omissions. Danny Seigle, though, should have not been neither.
The 1999 Rookie of the Year. A two-time Best Player of the Conference awardee. A record four-time PBA Finals MVP awardee. An eight-time PBA Champion.
With a resume filled with championships and individual accolades, it came as a shock to observers and basketball fans that Seigle’s name was not included in the list. Why and how did Seigle miss the cut?
FOX Sports Philippines looks back at the criteria set forth by the selection committee in 2015, to re-examine how Seigle fared out.
The player must have played at least four (4) full seasons with the league.
Seigle spent 12 productive seasons with the San Miguel Beermen, where he won seven of his eight PBA titles.
Seigle, though, missed the entire season in 2003 due to an Achilles injury he suffered while playing for the National Team. In a tuneup game versus Qatar in preparation for the 2002 Busan Asian Games, Seigle was sidelined by a torn right Achilles heel injury for one full year.
Seigle bade farewell to San Miguel in 2011, after being traded to the Air 21 Express.
In 2013, Seigle transferred to the TNT KaTropa, after opting out from the Barako Bull (formerly Air 21). In the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup, Seigle won his eighth PBA title, thriving with an off-the-bench role for the Manny Pangilinan-owned franchise. He last donned the TNT jersey in 2017.
In total, Seigle played for 17 seasons in the PBA for three different teams.
The player must be a recipient of a major award (MVP, Rookie of the Year awardee, Member of the mythical or all-defensive teams)
As mentioned, Seigle was hailed as the PBA Rookie of the Year in 1999. In the same year, Seigle joined Johnny Abarrientos, Jeff Cariaso, Sonny Alvarado and Benjie Paras in the Mythical Five.
Seigle would be a fixture in the Mythical First Team up until 2001.
Perhaps the only argument that prevented Seigle’s automatic entry in the list is his “failure” of capturing at least one MVP award.
Seigle nearly won one in his rookie year, though the hotly-contested individual plum was awarded to the 1989 Rookie of the Year/MVP Benjie Paras. Despite winning two of the 1999 season’s three titles for San Miguel, Seigle lost out to Paras in the widely-debated MVP race.
In the next two seasons, the MVP trophy would be bestowed to Seigle’s teammate, Danny Ildefonso. The pride of Urdaneta, Pangasinan bagged the league’s top individual award in 2000 and 2001. Seigle’s claim to fame, though, would be the four Finals MVP awards he won during San Miguel’s championship rampage from 1999 to 2001.
The player must have done a major impact with the sport and the league.
A nine-time PBA All-Star, Seigle is arguably one of the most popular players in the league.
Upon his entry in the league in 1999, he redefined the small forward position with his highwire acts and finesse at the perimeter. During the Top 10 highlight plays shown during halftime, a Danny Seigle clip –a poster dunk, an acrobatic layup or a clutch basket- was a guaranteed entry.
At 6’6, Seigle showed the rest of the league how a small forward should play, outside the arc or inside the lane.
The player must have contributed towards the positive development of basketball in the country.
He may have missed out on being a member of the national team due to an injury, but Seigle’s exploits have contributed to the league’s progress and popularity especially in the later 1990’s. Seigle brought a new level of excitement to the PBA with his skills and athleticism, which was only seen before from smaller players.
The only dampener, however, was when Seigle and his fellow Fil-foreign players were embroiled in the “Fil-Sham” controversy. The Filipino citizenship of Seigle, Eric Menk, Asi Taulava and other Fil-foreign recruits all underwent scrutiny by the PBA and government agencies – in an apparent “witch-hunt” for ineligible players.
In a long battle, Seigle would prove his Filipino lineage, along with his brother Andy and a handful of Fil-foreign recruits. Some of the foreign players, though, were kicked off the league for their failure to establish their Filipino citizenship.
It is still a lingering question if Seigle’s linkage to the “Fil-Sham” issue weighed down his inclusion in that 2015 selection.
But with that aside, Seigle could have been a worthy member of the list – as his personal achievements in the PBA would suggest.
In the words of former PBA commentator and commissioner Noli Eala: “Susmaryosep! Ikaw na ang maging Danny Seigle.”