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    Who'll win a PBA First-Name Game: Team Mark, Chris or Jun/June?

    Apr 2, 2020
    ILLUSTRATION: echo antonio

    IT appears other teams – or names – can challenge Team Chris as the strongest PBA lineup composed of players with the same name.

    Following our PBA First-Name Game story where we listed the All-Chris squad as our frontrunner in this fantasy game, we came up with other players who have the same name.

    Even one of our readers from Jeddah, Saudi Arabi, “Jo MC," made his own research, sending us an email of a list of as many as 19 PBA players named “Mark” or “Marc” and asking if we could come up a with a story on the All-Mark squad next after reading the first piece.

    SEE ALSO
    SEE ALSO

    Mark Yee, Mac Belo, Mark Isip, Mark Cruz, Mark Macapagal, Mark Borboran, Marc Agustin, Mark Andaya, Mark Arriola, Mark Canlas, Mark Kong, Mark Magsumbol, Mark Tallo, and Mark Victoria were among the names that our reader mentioned. We put the rest of the list – the most notable ones – on the starting five of the All-Mark Squad.

    Continue reading below ↓

    After compiling all the players with the same name we could think of, we came up with 16 teams with at least five members each. The same rules applied: we grouped homonyms (names with same sound, but different spelling) together. Then we ranked the Top 10 squads according to personal preference, framing each player in his prime and in today’s faster-paced style of play where threes reign.

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    So let’s rank how these teams will perform:

    10. Team Michael/Mike – Cortez, Pennisi, DiGregorio, Hrabak, Mustre

    Even without superstars, this team definitely looks like it can thrive in today’s position-less game. You have two of the league’s first batch of stretch big men in Mick Pennisi and Mike Hrabak. Cortez and Mustre are scoring playmakers, while DiGregorio is your top wing sniper. The bench includes Tolomia, Orquillas, and Miranda, another big man who can shoot from the outside.

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    9. Team Ray/Rey - Evangelista, Parks, Nambatac, Hugnatan, Suerte

    If this team had a bigger frontcourt, then it would’ve ranked higher on this list. But that’s not a knock on Hugnatan, who has been a leader and steady producer throughout his career. This team’s offense, though revolves around former Best Player of the Conference Evangelista and Parks, while up-and-comers in Nambatac and rookie Suerte thrive in the wings.

    8. Team Bong – Alvarez, Hawkins, Ravena, Quinto, Galanza

    Relive the 90s game with three stars in that era on this squad. Alvarez provides the excitement from the perimeter, Hawkins is the main low-post scoring threat, while Ravena is your top two-way wingman. Two young guns trying to make their name in today’s game in Quinto and Galanza, complete this roster.

    7. Team Jason/Jay – Castro, Washington, Perkins, Webb, Ballesteros

    This team goes wherever Castro takes them. The Blur can form an inside-outside combo with former teammate Washington, a two-time Best Player of the Conference and three-time Mythical Five member. This team, though, lacks the outside shooting from the wing position.

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    6. Team Dondon/Don – Allado, Hontiveros, Ampalayo, Camaso, Belano


    This team looks solid in each spot. Allado, a former MVP candidate, is the focal point down low, while Ampalayo, a former Rookie of the Year, and Camaso are the stretch forwards. Belano, the first player to record a quadruple-double in Philippine basketball history, facilitates the offense as he can always kick it out to sharpshooter Hontiveros. Don Trollano can make a case for eventual inclusion on this starting five as he continues his rise to stardom.

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    5. Team William/Willie – Adornado, Generalao, Miller, Wilson, Antonio

    This squad has five MVP trophies combined, with three-time winner Adornado forming a potent backcourt tandem with two-time recipient Miller. Former Rookie of the Year Generalao completes the three-guard setup, while Antonio is at the perimeter and Wilson down low in an undersized frontcourt.

    4. Team John/Johnny – Abarrientos, Ferriols, Erram, Wilson, Cardel


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    This lineup also looks like it can compete in each position. Johnny A orchestrates the offense and can always feed Erram on the low block, with Wilson as your floor-spacer. Then you have two former MBA superstars in ex-MBA MVP Ferriols and Cardel. You can even put John Arigo as your sixth man.

    3. Team June/Jun – Fajardo, Limpot, PJ Simon, Papa, Marzan

    On paper, you’d think this is the strongest lineup with Fajardo in tow. The six-time MVP can form a potent one-two punch down low with Limpot, while Simon complements with his perimeter offense. Then you have two-way wingmen in Valenzuela and Marzan. Jun Papa, a top gun in the league's early years, should be a major weapon. But this team lacks a legitimate point guard who can run the offense. Jun Reyes is at the top of our minds, but the next playmakers on the list can run rings around this backcourt rotation.

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    2. Team Chris – Ross, Jackson, Newsome, Lutz, Standhardinger

    We made a change in the starting lineup, putting Standhardinger in place of Chris Tiu, making this lineup even more formidable. Now you have an inside scoring presence to complement the wing production from Lutz and Newsome. Ross and Jackson continue to anchor the defensive end.

    But we feel the next team on this list can give them a run for their money.

    1. Team Mark – Caguioa, Pingris, Cardona, Telan, Barroca

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    These names have all made their, well, mark during their time. And if you have them together in their primes, you arguably have the most complete starting unit with the same name. Caguioa, who had his best scoring season in 2007 averaging 24.6 points a game at age 28, and Cardona will take care of the perimeter offense while Telan handles the low-post scoring. On the other end, good luck trying to penetrate this team’s defense that has Barroca at the forefront and Pingris as the last line.

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      Honorable mentions:

      Team Eric – Altamirano, Menk, Camson, Reyes, Salamat

      Team Robert/Rob – Jaworski, Bolick, Reyes, Wainwright, Labagala/Duat/Johnson

      Team Danny/Dan – Ildefonso, Florencio, Seigle, Capobres, Sara, De Guzman

      Team Richard/Ricardo – Brown, Alvarez, Del Rosario, Marata, Yee, Relosa

      Team Alex – Cabagnot, Mallari, Crisano, Nuyles, Compton

      Team Paul – Lee, Alvarez, Artadi, Desiderio, Zamar

      Team Jeff/Jeffrey – Cariaso, Chan, Viernes, Sanders

      Team Kevin – Ferrer, Alas, Racal, Ramas

      Continue reading below ↓

      Team James – Yap, Martinez, Forrester, Sena

      Team Sonny – Jaworski, Thoss, Cabatu

      Team Rudy – Hatfield, Distrito, Lingganay

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      ILLUSTRATION: echo antonio
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