We are less than two weeks away from the tip-off of the upcoming PBA season. So, how about ranking the best line-up of each team?
G - L. Revilla G - R. Arana F - A. Mallari F - R. Escoto C - J. Ballesteros
Even though I see this as the weakest best line-up in the league, I am actually interested to see this on the floor. If schemed correctly,the Revilla-Arana-Mallari trio could be a sick on-the-break trio. Defensively, the team will suffer on the backcourt.
G - S. Enciso G - C Baguio F - M. Wright F - J. Intal C - N. Torres
Defense is again my problem with this five. No one from that unit is an above average defender. So, they will lean on their offense, anchored by their three-point shooting. Enciso will need to further enhance his slash-and-kick ability to magnify this five.
G - J. Villanueva G - C. Lastimosa F - S. Anthony F - M. Baracael C - A. Taulava
We are solely focus on the line-up so we did not consider the coaches. The backcourt will be hard press on the defensive end but Sean Anthony and Asi Taulava will try to manage that. Offensively, Baracael's shooting will be vital to open up the lanes for Carlo and Jonas. He will also be a good kick-out partner of Taulava.
G - J. Pinto G - R. Banal F - A. Dela Cruz F - M. Belo C - J. Erram
This is the five that I am most excited about for the upcoming season. If Banal can be an above average shooter and playmaker right away, their offense will be super fine. Defensively, you cannot ask for a better frontcourt than Dela Cruz, Belo and Erram. Lastly, if Belo can connect to Dela Cruz right away, expect beautiful basketball from the duo because they are highly intelligent players.
G - B. Amer G - C. Newsome F - J. Dillinger F - C. Hodge C - R. Hugnatan
The ceiling of this unit greatly depends on the improvement of Amer as their point guard. If Amer can push his 3FG% above 33%, Newsome and Jared will have bigger space to operate. Lastly, The lone Manong Splash Bro will be there to take away the center from the rim as Hodge glue them together on offense and defense.
#7 RAIN OR SHINE
G - J. Cruz G - J. Chan F - G. Norwood F - J. Washington C - R. Almazan
Don't tell me you are asking for James Yap? Chan is way better than him right now, unless he shows otherwise this season. At this point, it is harder to stack up the teams so the defensive weakness of their backcourt lead me to put them at #7. Norwood could of course lock up one of their opponent's scorer and the Washington-Almazan frontline will be useful on both ends of the court.
G - M. Barroca G - P. Lee F - A. Maliksi F - A. Ramos C - M. Pingris
The arrival of the best stretch-four in the league, Aldrech Ramos, will magnify the attack of the Hotshots. Maliksi will be more than happy to be a catch-and-shoot sniper that will run around Pingris' screens. Paul Lee will be vital especially on clutch situations. Defensively, Barroca will take care of the better offensive guard as Ramos and Pingris defend the rim. The biggest question though is, is Marc Pingris still capable of anchoring a defense?
G - R. Jazul G - C. Banchero F - C. Abueva F - V. Manuel C - S. Thoss
The chemistry of this five is topnotch and that is the main reason why they reach the top 5. In defense, the Aces has three above average defenders in Banchero, Abueva and Thoss. Their rebounding is also elite which helps their offense and defense. If Abueva can sustain his above average outside shooting, we can see a much better version of this unit in the Philippine Cup.
G - T. Romeo G - S. Pringle F - N. Canaleta F - Y. Taha C - J. Quinahan
After the Elite, this is the five that I am craving to see in the floor. Their is no doubt in my mind now that this is the best offensive five in the whole league because you just partnered an elite shooter to the most destructive backcourt in the country. And then they added a great screener in Quinahan who can also connect from beyond the arc which could result into a better flow to their offense. As long as Romeo and Pringle don't over-handle the ball, expect Batang Pier to be a deadly team this season.
G - J. Castro G - R. Reyes F - L. Fonacier F - T. Rosario C - R. De Ocampo
If The Blur is the driver of your offense, you will surely have an elite offense. Then, you surround him with four shooters? That is deadly! With more maturity by Rosario, this cast can become better. The question lies on the ages of Reyes, Fonacier and RDO. Those three are 33 years old and older and if all of them regress this season, TNT may not be able to handle that.
G - L. Tenorio G - E. Thompson F - K. Ferrer F - J. Aguilar C - G. Slaughter
The twin tower makes them an elite team on both sides. Coach Tim Cone will make major adjustments from what they did in the Governor's Cup because Brownlee is not around anymore. Ferrer will need to keep his 3FG% around 35% or better to keep this unit as deadly as possible. Thompson's rebounding is a huge weapon to have. Overall, they are above average in all facets of the game.
#1 SAN MIGUEL
G - C. Ross G - A. Cabagnot F - M. Lassiter F -A. Santos C - J. Fajardo
Fajardo is bar-and-none the most impactful player in the league right now. Out of all the giants that played in the league, June Mar was the best in making use of his size on both extremes of the court. And their backcourt of Ross and Cabagnot can take care of all other backcourts on both ends of the court. And then they have two great complimentary forwards in Lassiter and Santos. Santos has not been putting eye-popping numbers like before but if you watch him carefully, you will see his great effect to their system.