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The 13 Filipinos who made ABL's top 40 players of all-time and their achievements
by Niel Victor Masoy, August 10, 2019 7:54pm
The ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) recently released its top 40 nominees for its top 10 players of all time.
Blackwater Elite rookie Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and 12 other Filipino players have made it to the Top 40.
Now, let’s get to know a little bit more of what they’ve accomplished in the ABL that enabled them to crack the league’s top 40 players here:
Bobby Ray Parks Jr.
Parks Jr. is perhaps the most accomplished Filipino player in the ABL. The son of the late Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) legend Bobby Ray Parks Sr. have played three seasons (2016-2019) in the league and won three straight (2017-2019) Local Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards. In those three MVP seasons, Parks averaged 16.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.5 dimes.
The former National University (NU) Bulldog also seized a Finals MVP plum when the Alab Pilipinas beat the Mono Vampire Thailand in the 2018 Finals. Parks is currently 11th in the ABL’s all-time scoring leaders as well.
Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters forward Matthew Wright has also took his talents to ABL before. While the Filipino-Canadian only played one season (2015-2016) in the regional league, the 6-foot-3 shooter made the most of it as he won a championship in 2016 with the Westports Malaysia Dragons.
He also won the Heritage Import Award in the same year thaw saw him turned in 23.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. That award is given to players who came from an ASEAN country but didn’t play for their motherland - which in Wright’s case is the Philippines but he played for Malaysia.
Former PBA and now Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) player Warren Ybanez also had himself a fruitful three-year (2009-2012) stint in the ABL. The 5-foot-8 point guard won a championship with the Air Asia Philippine Patriots in 2010 while also bagging the Finals MVP award in the same year.
Another former PBA and now MPBL point guard in Al Vergara also cracked the ABL’s top 40 players. While the 5-foot-8 cager didn’t get any awards in the regional league, he proved to be a stabilizing presence for the teams he played for in his five years (2008-2011, 2013, 2014) in the ABL.
Vergara actually started his pro career in the ABL with the Singapore Slingers in 2008 and gave a good account of himself there. That paved the way for him being signed up by the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants (now the Magnolia Hotshots) in the 2009 PBA Fiesta Conference.
Like Ybanez, former PBA player and now Davao Occidental Tigers assistant coach Rob Wainright also strutted his wares in the ABL. The Filipino-American forward actually teamed up with Ybanez in the Philippine Patriots 2010 conquest of the league.
The 6-foot-5 Wainright was one of the better scorers in his time in the ABL.
Also making the most of his one-year stint in the ABL was Stanley Pringle of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. With his impressive scoring and playmaking skills, the 6-foot-1 Filipino-American helped lead the Indonesia Warriors to winning the 2012 championship.
Asi Taulava resurrected his PBA career through his stint in the ABL. After he found himself out of the Asia’s pioneering professional basketball league in 2012, the 6-foot-9 Fil-Tongan moved to the ABL and went on to become the 2013 Local MVP while also leading the San Miguel Beermen Philippines to the 2013 championship.
After that stint, the Meralco Bolts signed up Taulava as The Rock made his way back to the PBA. Now, at age 46, Taulava is still playing in the league with the NLEX Road Warriors.
Before making waves in the PBA, Banchero showcased his talents first in the ABL. The 5-foot-11 Filipino-Italian point guard played two seasons in the regional league (2012, 2013) with San Miguel and was a key piece to the Beermen’s title run in 2013. In fact, Bachero seized the Finals MVP award as San Miguel topped the Indonesia Warriors.
Filipino-American Jason Brickman played three seasons (2015-2016, 2017-2019) in the ABL. The 5-foot-9 point guard is hands down one of the best playmakers in the league as he averaged 9.7 assists over his ABL career.
Brickman led the Westports Malaysia Dragons in clinching the 2016 title at the expense of the Singapore Slingers. He was also hailed the Finals MVP of that series.
While Jerrick Canada didn’t shone in the PBA, the 5-foot-7 Cebuano guard had a career to remember in the ABL. Canada played three seasons in the regional league and won two championships with the Indonesia Warriors in 2012 and the Hi-Tech Bangkok City in 2014.
His shining moment came in the 2014 Finals edition when he showcased his scoring skills and led Bangkok City past the Westports Malaysia Dragons. Canada averaged 20.5 points on top of 3.5 steals to seize the Finals MVP plum.
Former PBA player Leo Avenido played six seasons in the ABL. Avenido spent those six years mainly in scoring buckets. The 6-foot-2 guard went on to become the league’s no. 5 in its all-time scoring list. Avenido also received the ABL Lifetime Achievement Award for his fruitful stint in the league.
In 2012, Avenido put up the highest regular scoring average among ASEAN locals with 14.6 points in the regular season. He ultimately became the Local MVP of the year. Avenido also helped lead the Beermen to the 2013 championship.
After playing three years in the PBA (2006-2009), Froilan Baguion found himself playing in the ABL.
Baguion went on to become one of the better point guards in the regional league. He embellished his six-year stint in the ABL with two championships - one with the Philippine Patriots in 2010 and another with the Chang Thailand Slammers in 2012. Baguion also played for the San Miguel Beermen Philippines, Sports Rev Thailand Slammers, Saigon Heat, and the Mono Vampire Thailand in the 2015-2016 ABL season - which was also his last playing year in the regional league.
Former PBA player Josh Urbiztondo played three seasons (2017, 2017-2019) in the ABL. The 5-foot-11 point guard first played for the Singapore Slingers in 2017 before going back to the PBA for a brief stint with the GlobalPort (now NorthPort) Batang Pier. He then returned to ABL, playing for the Alab Pilipinas and helping the team notch the 2018 title.
Urbiztondo was a solid contributor for both the Slingers and the Alab squads. He was a decent playmaker but was always a threat offensively with his streaky scoring prowess especially from beyond the arc.
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