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    Not a lot of PBA Rookie of the Year winners became MVPs

    May 2, 2020

    WINNING Rookie of the Year honors immediately propels neophytes to new heights, with the league closely watching if these new blood can seize the league for themselves.

    But of the 43 players who won the award since the league opened shop in 1975, only seven, or a mere 16 percent, of the ROY winners went on to win a Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy before the end of their careers.

    Ricardo Brown, the 1983 ROY, immediately earned his spot in the league's Mythical Team after a stellar rookie season for Great Taste. He eventually won the MVP in 1985 as the Baby Dalupan-coached Coffee Makers won four straight championships but just missed out on claiming a grand slam.

    Drafted No. 1 overall, Allan Caidic went on to win the top rookie plum in 1987 for Great Taste, where he was also part of the Mythical First Team. "The Triggerman" was feted with the MVP come the 1990 season when the franchise, renamed Presto, took home the 1990 All-Filipino Conference under coach Jimmy Mariano.

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    Benjie Paras also made history being the league's only rookie MVP, taking home both honors in his maiden season with Shell in 1989. "The Tower of Power" would repeat as MVP a decade later as the Zoom Masters claimed the 1999 All-Filipino Cup.

    Selected first in the 1998 PBA Draft, Danny Ildefonso took home the Rookie of the Year award that season as the San Miguel forward earned his place in the Mythical Second Team. It wasn't long before "Demolition Man" ascended to new heights, winning back-to-back MVP honors in 2000 and 2001 as the franchise player for the Beermen.

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    Mark Caguioa, who Ginebra took third in the 2001 PBA Draft, bagged that season's ROY honors but had to wait 11 years before winning the MVP award in 2012.

    Talk 'N Text's Jimmy Alapag won the 2003 Rookie of the Year award and earned his spot in the Mythical First Team despite falling to 10th in the draft. He would go on to continue reaping championships for the franchise, and ultimately won the 2011 MVP as he led the Chot Reyes-coached Tropang Texters to a near-grand slam.

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    And lastly, Kelly Williams lived up to his billing as Sta. Lucia's top pick in the draft, winning the 2007 Rookie of the Year honors before taking home the MVP a season after.

    Of course, it's hard to win an MVP award, which is quite understandable why there are only seven top rookies who are able to do it.

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    Actually, only 10 players, or a mere 23 percent, of the Rookie of the Year winners were able to make it to the Mythical First Team in their first season in the league.

    They are Toyota's Arnie Tuadles (1979), Brown (1983), Caidic (1987), Paras (1989), Ginebra's Marlou Aquino (1996), San Miguel's Danny Seigle (1999), Alapag (2003), Williams (2007), Alaska's Calvin Abueva (2013), and Columbian's CJ Perez (2019).

    That number doubled to 20 when we consider ROY honorees who made it to the Mythical Second Team in their rookie year.

    Those include Crispa's Willie Pearson (1984), Ginebra's Dondon Ampalayo (1986), Purefoods' Jojo Lastimosa (1988), Sta. Lucia's Jun Limpot (1993), Swift's Boybits Victoria (1994), Ildefonso (1998), Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood (2009) and Paul Lee (2013), Ginebra's Greg Slaughter (2014), and GlobalPort's Stanley Pringle (2015).

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      Safe to say, though, that a Rookie of the Year sets players up for a bright future. A more encouraging 26 out of the 43 (60 percent) eventually found their place in the Mythical Teams sometime in their careers.

      Aside from the aforementioned names, those ROYs who took time to settle down before eventually gaining a spot in the league's Mythical Selections sometime in their careers were Willie Generalao of Gilbey's Gin (1980), Bong Ravena of San Miguel (1992), Jeffrey Cariaso of Alaska (1995), Davonn Harp of Red Bull (2000), Caguioa (2001), and Roger Pogoy of TNT (2017).

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