We all know who’s at #1, right? Right, but the rest of the field is a little difficult to gauge, since nobody has really stood out in a consistently big way. Still, there have been some great neophytes so far this season, and they’re all worth mentioning.
Without further ado, here they are – the top five rookies of the 2015 PBA season as of November 23, 2014 (as always, this is based on the Player Efficiency ratings).
In GlobalPort’s short two-game winning streak (they beat Kia and Blackwater in succession before dropping a close one to Rain or Shine), Semerad was pretty solid, averaging 14 points, shooting 56% from the field, and 40% from rainbow country. His season stats are a little less stellar, but the 6’5 combo-forward still looks to be a serious contributor for the Batang Pier. If he can keep this up, he has an outside shot at maybe being the next J-Wash or RDO.
The former King Falcon has been having a bit of a pedestrian season, but that was before he dropped 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists against the Meralco Bolts last weekend. And, get this, he did that in just 18 minutes! This kid has great upside, and if he can be consistent with his great off-the-bench production, then it won’t be long before he rises a notch in the wingmen ladder of the PBA.
In Barako’s last two wins, Pascual was great, averaging 17.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. The 6’5 former Red Lion and Gilas cadet has the makings of a really effective inside operator – think Ian Sangalang only a couple of inches shorter. A bit more consistency in finishing in traffic and in his midrange game, and he could really be something.
The former Gilas cadet’s numbers in his last two games have been less than super, but he has, by and large, still been pretty solid as a Gabe-Norwood-ish swingman. Coach Jong Uichico can count on him for scoring, rebounding, and defense. Again, he’s not crazy good at all those, but he’s solid at everything. Jack-of-All-Trades and master of none? Yes, but he has the potential to be a top-tier swingman in the next few years.
He’s top 10 in scoring, top two in steals and assists, and is the second-best rebounding guard in the entire league. He’s athletic as hell, has a killer crossover, and possesses a wicked jump-step. In short, despite being a rookie, he’s playing like a superstar veteran. I mean, he’s already the best player on his team, and, arguably, might already be the consensus best point guard in the league.
Outside looking in:
Kevin Alas (TNT) – 21.4 EFF
Chris Banchero (ALA) – 21.0 EFF
Rodney Brondial (GIN) – 18.3 EFF
Enzo Flojo has been writing about all things basketball for quite some time now, and he has become one of the most influential basketball bloggers in the country. You can read more of his stuff on his nationally-recognized blog, HoopNut.com, follow him on Twitter — @HoopNut, or watch his TV guestings here.
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