IN an early glimpse of what looks like a season-long battle for the Rookie of the Year award, Troy Rosario edged ahead of Talk 'N Text teammate Mo Tautuaa among the top rookie performers after the elimination round of the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup.
Rosario, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 PBA Draft behind Tautuaa, garnered 28 statistical points (SPs) after leading all rookies in points (15.6) and rebounds (6.7) after 11 games. The first-overall pick, meanwhile, came in second with 23.5 SPs while playing through back spasms late in the elims yet still producing 13.2 points, 5.3 boards, and 1.9 assists in 10 outings.
The highly-touted draft class of rookies this year, however, struggled to impress as only Rosario cracked the top 25 players in the Best Player of the Conference rankings. The 6-foot-6 power forward sits at the 14th spot, behind Alaska’s Calvin Abueva (30.1 SPs).
Rain or Shine’s Maverick Ahanmisi settled in at the same position as his draft selection among the top 10 rookies list, with 21.5 SPs after averaging 8.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. Blackwater’s Arthur Dela Cruz took fourth slot with 19.7 SPs even as he only played in nine games with averages of 10.9 markers and 5.1 rebounds.
Tied in fifth are Meralco’s Chris Newsome, who led all rookies in assists (3.5) and steals (1.2), and Mahindra’s Bradwyn Guinto, who averages close to a double double with 8.5 points and 8.7 boards. They both tallied 19.6 SPs.
Rounding out the top 10 rookies are NLEX’s Simon Enciso (15.9 SPs), Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson (15.6 SPs), ROS’ Don Trollano (14 SPs), and Road Warriors’ forward Glenn Khobuntin (10 SPs).