PBA star players command big following from fans. They are athletes who push the limits in Philippine basketball and inspire the spectators.
But there each star player is unique and has his own character, style and flavor on offer in terms of their game.
Out of these uniqueness come the alias or monikers that the ever so creative media has bestowed upon them.
We take a look back at some PBA legends with memorable monikers in the PBA, and we give a quick look on why and how they earned such on-court nicknames.
Fortunato “Atoy” Co: The Fortune Cookie
His moniker was a play of the letter of his name Fortunato Co in connection with his Chinese heritage.
The PBA legend is noted for his sure-shooting ability especially from the mid-range and was instrumental during The Crispa Redmanizers’ domination of the league during the late 70s and 80s.
Atoy Co’s abilities made him a crucial cog for his team’s success, so the “Fortune Cookie” nickname really fits the bill.
Bal David: The Flash
Even before Dwyane Wade became “The Flash” for the Miami Heat in the NBA, there was already Bal David in the PBA.
A speedy guard with excellent ball-handling ability, he was one of the most recognizable stars for the Barangay Ginebra due to his mental fortitude and fighting spirit that embodies the “never say die” slogan of the franchise.
He was one of the go to guys of the squad during backs to the wall situations.
Danny Seigle: Dynamite Danny
One of the most explosive players who ever set foot on the PBA court, the 6’6″ power forward and a Wagner College product was an instant hit for the San Miguel Beermen en route to another dominant spell in their league franchise history.
He can attack the basket and shoot the ball from range and was, simply put, an overwhelming attacking force.
Danny was truly a dynamite during the height of his explosive powers.
Marlou Aquino: The Skyscraper
Being a mobile center during his time was a rarity.
With a 6’9 height and considerable wingspan, Marlou Aquino definitely was one of the most imposing players in the PBA and being part of the fabled Ginebra franchise also added to his star power.
A specialist in the paint both on offense and defense, The Skyscraper’s presence definitely cannot be missed.
Vergel Meneses: The Aerial Voyager
Gifted with an amazing leaping ability, Vergel Meneses can take the ball strong to the hoop for an emphatic dunk.
There were many instances when he seemed to play much bigger than his size due to his inherent talent.
He is most remembered during his stints with Swift/Sunkist franchise which was his most productive in terms of championships winning three career titles from 1993 to 1995.
With regards to his aerial artistry and mid-air inventiveness, only one could rival and probably pip him off, a certain player known as “The Skywalker”.
Johnny Abarrientos: “The Flying A”
A master of his craft, the diminutive point guard was the leader during Alaska’s golden grand slam era in the 90s.
Johnny A can take it strong to the hoop even with towering defenders hounding him.
His on-court generalship, vision and ability to draw the defense combine for a deadly concoction of offensive arrays against his team’s adversaries as Abarrientos never runs out of options.
The Flying A, definitely on of the elites in the history of Philippine basketball.
Allan Caidic: The Triggerman
Arguably the best pure shooter the PBA has ever seen, Allan Caidic is a player who when given just a small glimpse of the basket, and he’ll definitely make that shot.
Armed with a quick release and a sure touch, he has been one of the most prolific scorers in the PBA.
His style also fits the international basketball style of play during those years, creating a name in the world of international basketball due to his scoring prowess.
Every time the Philippine national team plays, Allan Caidic’s was definitely one of the immediate names that ring a bell to coaching staffs of the opposing teams.
Samboy Lim: The Skywalker
He leaps, contorts, evades the defense and scores!
That was how Samboy Lim made his legend in the PBA.
An explosive player for San Miguel in the 80s and early 90s with great upper body strength, he was able to adjust his shot mid-air to trick the men marking him creating those spectacular highlight-reel material shots in the process.
A player way ahead of his time when his creativity and expressive style sit precariously at a time when physicality in the PBA was the norm, it was sad to note that his career was shortened due to injuries he sustained along the way.
In spite of that it is no doubt that Samboy “The Skywalker” Lim’s exploits at the peak of his strength were truly special… all while standing only barely 6-feet!!!
Truly a Jedi of the skies.
Alvin Patrimonio: The Captain
Power, tenacity, leadership. Alvin Patrimonio simply inspires.
Long range, mid-range, in the paint, defense. Whatever the team needs from him, he will give it, usually more than what is expected for the good of the squad.
6-time champion, 4-time MVP, 10-time Mythical First Team member, and 3-time Player of the Conference awardee. No wonder he’s “The Captain”. He’s the epitome of the team captain.
Ramon Fernandez: El Presidente
A dominant big man during the 70s and 80s and a career spanning until the 90s. Ramon Fernandez style of play gave him that longevity in the game that only a few were able to pull off.
El Presidente is a designated center who’s special ability lies in being able to play any position depending on the need of a particular play.
He has a sweet spot from the elbow to the paint and has excellent court vision and passing ability, that create space for his team during fast break opportunities.
With today’s game anchoring on versatility, Ramon Fernandez already exhibited that decades ago.
Robert Jaworski: The Big J / Living Legend
An all around player who can dictate the floor, shoot and inspire, Robert Jaworski was larger than life.
He’s a no nonsense player who can go hard or show finesse depending on the needs of the game, The Big J definitely had the ingredients to give more to the sport than just his physical attributes as a player.
Being able to transition successfully in the latter part of his career to playing-coach and finally, as a coach. He is best known for influencing a franchise in creating a culture and ultimately a legacy that will resound and continue strongly until today… The Ginebra culture.
During his time of being at the helm of Ginebra’s on-court leadership, his nickname eventually changed from Big J to the Living Legend, Quite fitting to be honest.
Robert Jaworski… Arguably the biggest legend in the world of Philippine Professional Basketball.