Mendoza: Will Abueva be next Paras in MVP derby?-A A +A
Monday, August 19, 2013
WHEN was the last time we had a player who swept the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in one season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA)?
Was it in 1987, when Benjie Paras scored the league’s first twin kill of both coveted crowns?
Before turning pro, Paras, together with Ronnie Magsanoc, engineered the first post-war victory in UAAP basketball for the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
From UP, Paras and Magsanoc entered the PBA with a bang.
Magsanoc would proceed to be known as the “Point Laureate” for his deadly threes, Paras the league’s “Chairman of the Board” for his rebounding prowess.
Paras sweeping both Rookie and MVP awards is a feat that has remained unbroken, making Paras, now an accomplished TV/movie actor, the gallant president of the DAC (Double Award Club) in the PBA – and with himself as the lone member.
When Paras won both plums, nobody was surprised. Everybody agreed with it. I know. I was then part of a committee to certify his elevation to the top. Our vote was unanimous.
For one, Paras was more than the Chairman of the Board. Thus, when he was given the moniker, “Tower of Power,” it was more than fitting as he really towered over everybody in boards plucked.
For another, he wasn’t just rebounding, he was scoring, too. So consistent was Paras that his team, the now-defunct Shell, had collected wins in a manner like picking peanuts.
Why am I talking about Paras again?
Well, it seems Calvin Abueva, the power-playing rookie of Alaska, is on course of duplicating Paras’s feat.
In the recent ratings, Abueva, who scores, rebounds and assists, is pacing the pack in the MVP statistical points derby, ahead of Arwind Santos of Petron and Jason Castro of Talk ‘N Text in that order. From No. 4 to No. 10 are Solomon Mercado of Globalport, Ranidel de Ocampo of TNT, Mark Caguioa of Ginebra, JV Casio of Alaska, L.A. Tenorio of Ginebra, Cyrus Baguio of Alaska and Marc Pingris of San Mig Coffee.
Now this: If Abueva should be it, why not?
The likes of Abueva, like Paras in his time, are rare like miracles.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 20, 2013.