TWO-time MVP winner Benjie Paras, Shell teammates Ronnie Magsanoc and Arnie Tuadles and coach Ed Ocampo lead nine personalities nominated for enshrinement into the 2013 PBA Hall of Fame class.
Pioneer PBA player Lim Eng Beng, ex-Alaska resident import Sean Chambers, longtime league official Elmer Yanga, referee Igmidio Cahanding, and media man Fred Luarca also passed the thorough nomination procedure, thus, becoming Hall of Fame candidates.
The fifth PBA Hall of Fame ceremony will be held during the opening of the 2013-14 PBA season or in a separate event prior to the opening.
PBA officials Rickie Santos and Willie Marcial, sports columnists Joaquin Henson and Dennis Principe, PBA Press Corps president Musong Castillo, TV5’s Magsanoc and Paras, representing the players’ group, composed the selection/nomination committee whose choices are to go through screening by the Honors Committee.
Henson, serving as chair of the selection/nomination group, is convinced, though, that they came up with a “strong consensus” list of nominees.
“The players are cream of the crop. It’s a very strong consensus,” Henson said.
Thirty-six individuals have been previously inducted into the Hall of Fame, led by initial honorees Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Atoy Co, Philip Cezar, Bogs Adornado, Francis Arnaiz, Baby Dalupan, Leo Prieto, Emerson Coseteng, Rudy Salud, Danny Floro, and Joe Cantada.
Two years after the 2005 launch, Abet Guidaben, Manny Paner, Danny Florencio, Norman Black, Ron Jacobs, Domingo Itchon, Danding Cojuangco, Dante Silverio, Tony Siddayao, and Pinggoy Pengson made the next batch inducted into the “Hall.”
Then came the group of Bobby Parks, Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Hector Calma, Ricky Brown, Honeyboy Palanca, and Jun Bernardino in 2009, and the batch of Alvin Patrimonio, Billy Ray Bates, Freddie Hubalde, Tommy Manotoc, Tito Eduque, Mariano Yenko, and Bobong Velez in 2011.
Paras is easily the top choice to lead the next batch of inductees with his fabled career sparked by his record Rookie of the Year/MVP citation in 1989.
He would win another MVP award in 1999, topping four championships delivered to the Shell franchise and ensuring future Hall of Fame induction.
In the secret balloting among members of the selection committee (making six votes each), Paras got the most number of votes with seven, followed by Magsanoc and Chambers with six each and Tuadles and Beng with five apiece.
Before going through the balloting, the committee made an initial elimination process, trimming down an original list of 34 players to 21 in an open discussion.
Then the group nominated a coach, a team manager, a league official, and a media personality, and thus a total of 44 individuals were considered in the process.
In the secret balloting, getting at least one vote each were Byron Snake Jones, Jerry Codinera, Bernie Fabiosa, Ato Agustin, Jojo Lastimosa, Abe King, and Padim Israel.