A lot of things can happen in a decade.
As the league continues to evolve, changes are to be expected – starting from franchises like the Blackwater, Columbian, GlobalPort, NLEX, Meralco, and Phoenix as they made their way into the PBA.
On the other hand, teams like Alaska, Ginebra, Magnolia, Rain or Shine, San Miguel, and Talk ‘N’ Text have continued to be integral parts of the PBA’s ongoing 43-year existence.
Today, FOX Sports PH takes a look at some of the best players for each franchise for the past decade.
Alaska Aces: Calvin Abueva
It was unfortunate that the partnership between Abueva and the Aces ended the way it did. Nonetheless, he has been the best player for the Aces for the better part of the decade. The former San Sebastian stag brought his boundless energy and tenacity to the team, making him one of the premier enforcers the league has to offer. Expect him to bounce back in the upcoming Governor’s Cup donning a Phoenix jersey.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel: Mark Caguioa
For the past 17 years that he’s been with the squad, Mark “The Spark” Caguioa has seen it all as he was a huge part of the franchise’s title runs in the early 2000’s, to the struggling years coming into the early 2010’s, up to winning championships anew for the league’s most popular ballclub. For the better part of his career, he formed a fearsome backcourt tandem with Jayjay Helterband dubbed as “The Fast and The Furious”, which is largely attributed to the frenetic paced that they played in. Over the years, he has earned for himself six titles, 12 all-star nods, and a MVP citation back in the 2012 season.
Blackwater Elite: JP Erram
As the franchise is still looking to find its footing in this league, a huge part of the Elite’s future will be at the hands of JP Erram. Despite being sidelined by injuries early on, the lanky big man from Ateneo has been a bright spot for Blackwater, thanks to his continuous improvement. With him and Mac Belo holding down the fort, expect the Elite to continue to ascend as one of the league’s improving teams.
GlobalPort Batang Pier: Terrence Romeo
Since his entry in the league, the spitfire guard from Far Eastern University has been nothing short of spectacular for the Batang Pier. Through his ambidexterity and dazzling ball-handling wizardry, Romeo helped steered the team to unprecedented heights as they entered the semi finals back in the 2016 All-Filipino Cup. Few years later, Romeo was involved in a trade to TNT in exchange for hulking big man Mo Tautuaa.
Columbian Dyip: LA Revilla
It has been well-documented that the Columbian Dyip franchise has been struggling ever since – highlighted by their high player turnover and their problems within the management. But so far in their four years of existence, it is safe to say that LA Revilla has been their best player in his stay there as he help towed the floundering franchise to a playoff berth back in the 2016 Governor’s Cup. However, due to his comments regarding the team’s direction, he was promptly traded to the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
Meralco Bolts: Chris Newsome
The explosive guard from Ateneo surely did not disappoint when he was drafted a few years ago by the Bolts. He burst into the scene as the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2016 and has helped brought the MVP-owned franchise to multiple finals appearances. With him and Amer in the fold, the future is bright for Meralco.
NLEX Road Warriors: Kiefer Ravena
There’s no clear cut as to who has been the best player for the NLEX Road Warriors but Kiefer Ravena takes the cake here given that he has steered the franchise to its first ever semi finals appearance in this year’s All-Filipino Cup. The former second overall pick has lived up to the hype by posting norms of 15.7 points and 5.4 assists last conference. However, a doping violation has sidelined him indefinitely, which will be effective for 18 months.
Rain or Shine Elastopainters: Gabe Norwood
Former George Mason University standout Gabe Norwood has been the team’s steadying presence ever since they came into the league a decade ago. His efforts particularly on the defensive end, has towed Rain or Shine to their two titles in franchise history. His numbers don’t garner much attention, however, there’s a reason as to why he has been a mainstay for the Gilas program for quite some time now.
San Miguel Beermen: June Mar Fajardo
June Mar Fajardo has been making quite a case for himself as one of the greatest players in league history. His dominant ways have brought San Miguel six titles and he has been a perennial MVP contender every year, with him having won four already. With him currently at the peak of his powers, many would wonder on who could stop him for the foreseeable future.
Talk ‘N’ Text Katropa: Jayson Castro
It is clear that “The Blur” has been the best player for the TNT franchise, despite his diminutive stature. Thanks to his lightning quick first step and heady playmaking, he has steered the franchise to six titles. The pride of Pampanga was also dubbed as the Asia’s Best Point Guard, as helped lead the Gilas national team to a FIBA World Championship appearance in 2014.
Magnolia Hotshots: James Yap
Surefire PBA Hall of Famer James Yap has had quite an illustrious career, with majority of it spent for the Purefoods franchise. Thanks to his sustained excellence, he has brought seven titles for the franchise, including a grand slam in the 2014 season. However, multiple injuries have derailed his career as he was traded away to Rain or Shine in 2017. But judging by his play recently, it seems that he has a lot of gas left in the tank.
Phoenix Fuel Masters: Matthew Wright
For the fledgling team in the Phoenix Fuel Masters, it is apparent that selecting Matthew Wright in the 2016 PBA draft was the right choice. The Fil-Canadian sharpshooter has proven to be more than capable to carry a team as he steered the franchise to a playoff berth in this year’s All-Filipino Cup. With his ascension along with the team’s young nucleus, expect the Fuel Masters to be in the playoffs frequently for years to come.