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Remembering and honoring the certified greats

NO Danny Seigle, a seven-time PBA champion, nine-time All-Star, four-time Finals Most Valuable Player, three-time Mythical First team and two-time Best Player of the Conference.

No Olsen Racela, a 10-time champion, two-time Mythical First team selections, a five-time All-Star and served the PBA-backed national team twice in the Asian Games.

No Jeff Cariaso, a former Rookie of the Year awardee, a 10-time all-star, four-time Mythical First team, four-time Defensive team member, and a former Finals MVP and Best Player of the Conference awardee.

How about old-timers like Abe King, the late Arnie Tuadles or Yoyoy Villamin?

King won 12 championships and one of the few players to win championships in three different teams.  He was also among the top rebounders of all time (seventh).

Tuadles was another former Rookie of the Year, who cracked the Mythical First team in his very first season. He won nine championships and was part of champion teams of three different teams.

In fact, the Cebuano hotshot became the first player to win championships in two different teams in one season.

Villamin is another nine-time league champion, who thrived doing the dirty work. He was one among the undersized centers/frontliners during his time and several times, were asked to defend even against the imports.

So when the latest list of 15 players who will join the previous 25 Greats were announced, a lot of people were surprised that anyone of them were left out on the list.

These players were passed up for Kerby Raymundo and Marlou Aquino.

Nothing against these two frontliners, but anyone from the above mentioned are worth the inclusion compared to these two recently retired players. Should they be included among the greatest players, maybe not ahead of anyone from Seigle, Racela, Cariaso, King, Tuadles or Villamin.

There will always be questions when one is picked over the other. Maybe a more definitive or expounded criteria should have been laid out.

What about Marc Pingris and Jayson Castro?  Isn’t it too early for these players to be included?

I love the way Pingris’ energy is displayed every game. His intensity on the defensive end, his rebounding and the impact he brings in the game are infectious.

I love the way Castro blows past his defenders, either in open court or isolation plays.

These two were key figures of the Gilas Pilipinas national team, which were part of the reason why we’re back in the world stage.

But we’re speaking about the PBA’s Greatest Players. We’re talking about the greatest players, who played in Asia’s pioneering pro league.

It maybe worth our while to look at the accomplishments of Seigle, Racela, Cariaso, King, Tuadles or King. We need to look at them now because they really deserve to be included.

We have to remember them before they are forgotten.

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