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    A pity that 3 best freshmen won't be eligible for Rookie of Year honor

    Oct 25, 2018

    CELEBRATED as the top two picks of last year's PBA draft, both Christian Standhardinger and Kiefer Ravena will not be in contention for Rookie of the Year honors.

    It's because the two will not meet the requirement if playing in at least 70 percent of their respective team's games to qualify for the yearend awards.

    Standhardinger joined San Miguel in the middle of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup after wrapping up his stint with Hong Kong Eastern in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).

    It wasn't an easy transition for the No. 1 pick, who had a roller-coaster run in his maiden conference with the Beermen and averaged 10.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 0.6 steals in the 15 games he played.

    But with four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo recovering from a shin injury in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup, the Fil-German forward jacked up his averages to 25.33 points, 12.67 rebounds, 1.44 assists, 1.0 steal, and 0.78 blocks through nine games to build a solid case for the Best Player of the Conference award.

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      Ravena, meanwhile, showed he belonged the moment he made the jump to the pros. The No. 2 pick averaged 15.84 points, 2.89 rebounds, 5.42 assists, 1.58 assists, and 0.11 blocks in 19 games as he led NLEX to the franchise's first semifinal appearance in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.

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      He looked poised to continue that tear in the second conference, upping his averages to 17.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.4 blocks in his five games before the All-Star break.

      However, Ravena was slapped with an 18-month long ban after testing positive for banned substances on his pre-workout drink during one of his stints with the national team, rendering him inactive for the entirety of the season.

      It's not just Standhardinger and Ravena, though, who had a solid freshman year in the pro league but will be ineligible for the accolades.

      The same could also be said for Blackwater guard Paul Zamar who finally made his PBA debut this season after being picked in the fourth round of the 2012 draft.

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      Riding his wave of good form from his ABL stint with Mono Vampire, the former University of the East standout has been nothing but excellent in his run with the Elite.

      Zamar averaged 10.14 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.86 assists, and 0.71 steals in his seven games in the Commissioner's Cup, and has also established himself as a contributor through nine games in this Governors' Cup, norming 9.56 points, 4.44 rebounds, 1.22 assists, 0.44 steals, and 0.11 blocks.

      It's a pity that neither of the three will be considered for the Rookie of the Year plum.

      Unfortunately, the case is the same for their inclusion in this season's All-Rookie Team, which, despite being handed out by the PBA Press Corps, also observes the same requirements for number of games played.

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