Active PBA players' roots reinforce Pampanga, Cebu status as top basketball hotbeds
Pampanga has 11 players from the PBA active roster for the 2016-17 season, led by Calvin Abueva and Arwind Santos. Cebu follows with eight, led of course by three-time MVP June Mar Fajardo.

PBA players have the fame and money, and enjoy the finer things in life, but there’s one thing they all do when they get their time with the mic at the end of games: They never forget to look back on their roots and greet people back from their hometowns.

Such a simple act gives enormous pride and joy to sports fans, especially those from the same city, town, even those within the same province. That for a moment there’s that treasured affinity, and can even spark a dream for younger enthusiasts to follow the path of their hometown heroes. did a census of sorts from the opening-day rosters for the PBA Philippine Cup, and three familiar provinces: one from North Luzon and two from Visayas have emerged at the top of the list of basketball hotbeds outside Metro Manila.

Pampanga, where Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva, Arwind Santos, and Japeth Aguilar, among others, were born, owns the most players with 11.

Three-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, Dondon Hontiveros, and JR Quiñahan are proud sons of Cebu, which has the second most number with eight, one more than Negros Occidental, home of James Yap and Jeff Chan, to name a few.

[See Ateneo still has most number of players on PBA active list, but two schools are closing in]

Davao del Sur and Cagayan de Oro, boasting two young standout playmakers in Scottie Thompson and Jio Jalalon, respectively, are tied for fourth with five representatives apiece.

Cavite, Tarlac, and Iloilo have four each, while Albay, Bulacan, Olongapo, Pangasinan, and Zamboanga have three each. Two players each are proud to be from Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Ormoc, Iligan, Bataan, Cotabato, Quezon, and Laguna.

In the metropolis, Manila still has the most representatives overall with 14, including two from Tondo, while Quezon City is next with eight cagers.

Outside the country, California has the most representatives with 22, followed by Canada with four, and Australia with three players.

So which players are from you hometown? Here’s the breakdown.

Pampanga - 11

Jayson Castro

Calvin Abueva

Arwind Santos

Japeth Aguilar

Ian Sangalang

Russel Escoto

Justin Melton

Michael Miranda

Dexter Maiquez

Levi Hernandez

Tristan Perez

Cebu - 8

June Mar Fajardo

Dondon Hontiveros

JR Quiñahan

Aldrech Ramos

Brian Heruela

Roger Pogoy

Jason Melano

Oping Sumalinog

Negros Occidental - 7

James Yap

Jeff Chan

Noy Baclao

LA Revilla

Mark Yee

Reynel Hugnatan

Raul Soyud

Cagayan de Oro - 5


Carlo Lastimosa

Jio Jalalon

Glenn Khobuntin

Aaron Aban

Philip Paniamogan

Davao del Sur - 5

Scottie Thompson

Baser Amer

John Pinto

Reden Celda

John Ferriols

Tarlac - 4

Niño Canaleta

Jake Pascual

Jaypee Mendoza

Jericho de Guzman

Iloilo – 4

Ronald Tubid

Anjo Caram

Ken Bono

Emman Monfort

Cavite - 4

Terrence Romeo

Ranidel de Ocampo

Yancy de Ocampo

Jessie Saitanan

Albay - 3

Mark Borboran

Jay-R Reyes

Alex Nuyles

Bulacan - 3

Art dela Cruz

Billy Mamaril

Jonas Villanueva

Olongapo - 3

Gabby Espinas

Ping Exciminiano

Matt Ganuelas-Rosser


Pangasinan - 3

Marc Pingris

Jason Ballesteros

Bryan Faundo

Marion Magat

Zamboanga - 3

RR Garcia

Mark Barroca

Mike Tolomia

Laoag -3

Jeoffrey Javillonar


Bong Galanza

Nueva Ecija - 2

Vic Manuel

Samboy de Leon

Batangas - 2

LA Tenorio

Eric Camson

Leyte - 3

Chico Lanete

Garvo Lanete

Dylan Ababou

Iligan - 2

Cyrus Baguio

Bambam Gamalinda

Bataan - 2

Raymond Almazan

Bradwyn Guinto


Cotabato - 2

Mac Belo

PJ Simon

Quezon - 2

Denok Miranda

Mac Baracael

Laguna - 2

Dennice Villamor

Chris Javier

Cagayan Valley

Troy Rosario


Reil Cervantes


Keith Agovida


Doug Kramer


Don Trollano

Ilocos Norte

Ed Daquioag

La Union

James Sena


Jansen Rios


Papot Paredes

Camarines Norte

Jammer Jamito


Beau Belga


Jay Washington


Jireh Ibanes

Roxas, Capiz

Jeckster Apinan


Jewel Ponferrada


John Wilson

General Santos

Manny Pacquiao


Manila - 14

Jayjay Helterbrand

Joseph Yeo

Jonathan Grey

JC Intal

Allein Maliksi

Ronnie Matias

Carl Bryan Cruz

Dave Marcelo

Raymond Aguilar

Von Pessumal

Jonathan Uyloan

Justin Chua

Paul Lee

Ryan Araña

Quezon City - 8

Larry Fonacier

Jervy Cruz

Ronjay Buenafe

Josan Nimes

Rodney Brondial

Marvin Hayes

Prince Caperal

Frank Golla

Pasay - 3

RJ Jazul

Rico Maierhofer

Rico Villanueva

Makati - 3

Jvee Casio

Kevin Ferrer

JP Erram

Mandaluyong -3

Ael Banal

Kevin Racal

Aljon Mariano

Las Piñas -2

Kevin Alas

Gelo Alolino

San Juan - 2

Chris Tiu

Fonzo Gotladera

Paranaque - 2

Rabeh Al-Hussaini

Mon Abundo


Jericho Cruz


Paolo Taha


Rey Guevarra


California - 22

Chris Newsome

Willy Wilson

Alex Cabagnot

Marcio Lassiter

Stanley Pringle

Sol Mercado

Maverick Ahanmisi

Ryan Reyes

Mark Caguioa

Chris Ellis

Kyle Pascual

Karl Dehesa

Mike Cortez  

Alex Mallari

Kelly Nabong

Simon Enciso

Harvey Carey

Kris Rosales

Rome dela Rosa

Abel Galliguez

Jason Deutchman

Tony dela Cruz

New York – 2

Rafi Reavis

Rashawn Mccarthy


Joe Devance


Mike DiGregorio


Chris Lutz


Cliff Hodge


Kelly Williams

North Carolina

Gabe Norwood



Greg Slaughter


Danny Seigle

San Antonio, Texas

Chris Ross

Seattle, Washington

Chris Banchero


Canada - 4

Sean Anthony

Matthew Wright

James Forrester

Norbert Torres

Australia - 3

Anthony Semerad

David Semerad

Mick Pennisi

Tonga - 2

Asi Taulava

Mo Tautuaa

Papua New Guinea

Sonny Thoss


Arnold Van Opstal

Hong Kong

Joseph Eriobu

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos