TRIVIA question: In San Miguel Beer franchise history, which player had the best-ever performance in an all-Filipino conference as a ROOKIE?
Sorry guys, it’s not six-time PBA MVP and eight-time Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo.
It’s also not two-time MVP, five-time BPC and four-time Finals MVP Danny Ildefonso.
Nor is it two-time BPC and four-time Finals MVP Danny Seigle.
The correct answer? Current San Miguel Beer assistant coach Melchor “Biboy” Ravanes.
Unknown to many, coach Biboy averaged a whopping 25.0 points on 58-percent field-goal shooting and 12.0 rebounds in 14 games for then Royal Tru-Orange as a freshman in the 1980 All-Filipino Conference.
Just a 21-year-old freshman, the 6-foot-1 Ravanes, in just a short time, became the Brewers’ top gun in that conference via those numbers in a team that featured Yoyong Martirez, Tony Torrente, Leo Paguntalan, Rudy Lalota and Jess Migalbin.
As a result of his eye-popping numbers, which turned out to be Ravanes’ best ever in a conference in the PBA, Royal Tru-Orange improved from a 10th and last-place finish in the Open (First) Conference to sixth in the season-ending All-Filipino Conference.
Because of his strong showing in the all-Pinoy tourney, Ravanes also finished runner-up to Gilbey’s Gin’s Willy Generalao in the Rookie of the Year race that season.
Just a couple of seasons back, when Barangay Ginebra’s 5-foot-11 Scottie Thompson was making heads turn with his rebounding skills and many were wondering who was the last guard in the league with the same prowess off the boards, well, Ravanes might just be that guy as he averaged 7.4 rebounds during his freshman year, including being ranked No 3 overall in the All-Filipino Conference behind Ramon Fernandez and Abet Guidaben.
Relegated to doing the blue-collar work on the hardcourt for most of his career, Ravanes played nine of his 15 seasons in the PBA in a Beermen uniform - his first six in the league and his last three. He played for Shell and Alaska in between those SMB stints.
Ravanes recorded PBA career averages of 6.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in a total of 745 games from 1980 to 1994.
He has been an assistant coach at San Miguel Beer since the 2006-07 season after he was transferred from the same post at Barangay Ginebra.