Here is a fast rundown of the recent news and rumors in the PBA universe.
NEWS F*ck!ng Love: Coach Yeng assure his squad that the a huge volume of curses is still on the way NLEX suffered a disgraceful defeat on the hands of Star. Coach Yeng made sure that they will feel it. And when asked about it, coach Yeng said, " Marami pa silang makikitang ganun, marami pa silang mararamdaman na ganun, and marami pa silang sigaw at murang maririnig sa akin, hanggang matuto sila... That’s how you build the toughness, mental toughness particularly. That’s how I take care of my players. I told them it’s up to them. ‘If you cannot handle this, the door is wide open. If you can handle this, then maybe you can learn something."
The second part was very interesting. It means, we can assume that the players that they will trade in the future did not managed coach Yeng's style. One thing for sure though, coach Yeng's style is proven.
Not yet a Beast: Calvin is not 100%, yet Alaska got their first W at the expense of Globalport and Calvin led them with his 22 points, 11 rebounds and 2 steals production. The amazing thing is “I’m okay but there are still times that it still hurts. But I need to play to contribute offensively and defensively.”
So, Calvin is already that productive but he is not a beast, yet. It will be interesting to see him, once he reach his 100% health.
Maybe this time: Jeric Teng will sign with Mahindra Jeric confirmed to Spin.ph that he will be playing for Mahindra this conference. The contract is not yet done but he is sure about playing in their game against the Beermen. He said, "They called me to practice with them. I practiced with them earlier. I think they wanted me to play this Sunday. Yun ang pagkakasabi sa akin."
It is easy to say that Teng is a bust because of what transpired in his time with the Elasto Painters but mind you, he is only 25 years old. He is still younger than some of the rookies this season. The potential is still there and the opportunity will finally be there.
RUMOR the reason behind?: Was James Yap traded due to political reason? Factuality Meter: 30%
According to the #1 source of rumors, one of the possible primary reason why Star traded James was his association with Francis Zamora. Zamora run for mayor-ship in San Juan and he bow down to Guia Gomez, part of the Estrada family.
Ramon Ang and the Estradas has been supporting each other for a while so the possibility is really there. But, the support of James to Zamora was not publicized that much. I am not even sure if majority of his fans knew about it. The possibility is there but I cannot buy it.
In just two weeks, each team has interesting performances to talk about.
MAHINDRA - Alex Mallari As expected, Mallari will be the best player of Mahindra this season. He is currently contributing 15.3 points and 7.7 rebounds. He is very good in finishing around the rim and that has help him have a 43.9% efficiency, so far. He should really focus in getting to the rim instead of trying midrange shots.
BLACKWATER - Mac Belo Belo is mesmerizing. He plays the game with calmness and poise that we should not see in a rookie. Belo has taken the mantle as the main man of this young group as he average 21 points, 8 rebounds and 61.8% FG. That 61.8% really signals how intelligent Mac is. He really makes the people around him better.
NLEX - Sean Anthony Believe it or not but coach Yeng let one of his player average 30 minutes a game in their first two matches and that guy is Sean Anthony. Sean is producing 18 points, 11 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 55% FG per game. I think, coach Yeng loves the energy, hustle, toughness and consistency that he brings into the court. I think, coach Yeng mandated him to finish more plays instead of creating for others. We will see if he can sustain his efficiency.
TNT - Matthew Ganuelas-Rosser Someone had to take the PG minutes that Jayson Castro leave in their first two games, Matthew was up for the task and he filled the stat sheet with 8.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. One thing that really amazes me about him in their first three games was his defense. He is really an elite lockdown defender. If you have time, watch him hound John Pinto in the first few minutes of their game against the Elite.
GINEBRA - Joe Devance In my opinion, Joe Devance is one of the biggest what if in the history of the league. What if his path never cross coach Tim's path, what kind of player he could had been? Devance produced 14 points, 6 rebounds and 5.5 assists in their first two games, a great testament to his versatility. I still remember some glimpses of his Alaska days when he was the main man and the plays run through him. He was really great back then.
SAN MIGUEL - June Mar Fajardo I know. Talking about Fajardo's dominance is kind of boring already but man, he is averaging 22.3 points and 20.7 rebounds per game! His rebounding ability has vastly improved this season. His positioning is much better and he was going for the ball more. I am already willing to bet that he will end this conference, averaging more than 15 boards per game.
In just two weeks, each team has interesting performances to talk about.
PHOENIX - Simon Enciso I am not trying to say that we have found the Stephen Curry of the PBA but in the first two weeks, Simon was the front runner. He hit 16 of his 34 attempts, good for 47.1% efficiency. Not only that, he did it with consistency, hitting more than three long bombs a game with at least 40% clip. His shooting form is fluid and he is good in finding the open spot for him. He could also stop and pop. I have my eyes on him, now.
MERALCO - Jonathan Grey I told you, Grey could be the steal of the draft! Actually, his 8.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 16.5 minutes of play is nothing to brag about but the way he handle himself and his finishing ability are really promising. I think his handles is as good as an average point guard, if he can learn to find his teammates, Grey could be a solid playmaker.
GLOBALPORT - Aaron Aban I really thought Aban will not find a role in Batang Pier but it seems like coach Franz knows what he can do and he is maximizing him. He is contributing 5.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game. His hustle, experience and defense has made him an excellent glue guy to their team.
RAIN OR SHINE - James Yap To be honest, I anticipate him to be inefficient but at least he is effective with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist in 15.5 minutes of play. Improving his 35.3% will really be a big help but by being effective, James can get more attention from the defense of their opponent. One thing that coach Caloy could do to help him is to run him off with some screens to get better looks.
ALASKA - Carl Bryan Cruz There is no question that the biggest challenger of Mac Belo for the Rookie of the Year is Carl Bryan Cruz. He posted 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in their first two. One thing that he does very well is finding the right spots for him in their scheme and he is good in picking his shots.
STAR - Paul Lee No disrespect to Lee but his performance in their first two games was yikes! In 67 minutes of playing time, he produced a total of 21 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, 1/9 3FG and 6/22 FG. Don't worry though, he is just adjusting to playing conventional scheme. But, don't expect him to meet the hype that he brought when arrived in the offseason.