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RANKING THE GREATEST PBA MVPS IN HISTORY

Updated: Dec 31, 2022



It's undeniable that all MVP seasons in the PBA are impressive, but some stand out more than others. While individual stats are certainly a factor, the ultimate measure of an MVP's success is their ability to lead their team to championships.


In this blog, we'll look back at the 47 seasons of the PBA and compare the stats and accomplishments of some of the most memorable MVPs. While there are other notable awards such as Best Player of the Conference and Finals MVP, we'll be focusing on the overall MVP award and the impact these players had on their teams.


As we delve into this list, it's important to keep in mind that the perfect MVP puts up import-like numbers while also leading their team to success. Who will come out on top as the greatest MVP in PBA history? Let's find out.






2011-12 SEASON

16.3ppg | 4.8rpg | 2.3apg | 0.8spg | 41 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | COMMISSIONER'S CUP

BPC | GOVERNORS' CUP


BEST FINISH:

SEMIFINALS | COMMISSIONER'S CUP / GOVERNORS' CUP


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. TALK N TEXT | 40 - 22 (M5 - Ranidel De Ocampo)

2. B-MEG | 38 - 24 (M5 - James Yap)

3. RAIN OR SHINE | 31 - 22

4. GINEBRA | 26 - 19 (M5 - Mark Caguioa)

5. PETRON | 23 - 23 (M5 - Arwind Santos)

6. POWERADE | 22 - 27 (M5 - Gary David)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

GARY DAVID

25.8ppg | 3.8rpg | 2.3apg | 0.8spg | 49 games


It is difficult to give the MVP award to a player whose team only won 26 games in a season, especially when the top team won 40 games. However, it is equally hard to ignore a player who won two BPC awards. This was the case for Mark Caguioa, who became the first player to win the MVP award without reaching the finals. Interestingly, that season's MVP race featured another player from an underperforming team. Gary David, who led the Powerade Tigers to an impressive finish in the Philippine Cup and was also named the conference's BPC, was the top scorer of the season.




2002 SEASON

9.7ppg | 3.6rpg | 3.6apg | 1.0spg | 47 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | COMMISSIONER'S CUP (VS TALK N TEXT)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. COCA-COLA | 31 - 16 (M5 - Jeffrey Cariaso)

2. ALASKA | 31 - 28 (M5 - Don Allado)

3. RED BULL | 30 - 17 (M5 - Willie Miller and Davonn Harp)

4. TALK N TEXT | 27 - 20 (M5 - Victor Pablo)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

DAVONN HARP

12.8ppg | 9.6rpg | 3.5apg | 1.0bpg | 35 games


In 2002, the PBA was in the midst of a controversy surrounding the citizenship of several Fil-Am players, including Sonny Alvarado, Asi Taulava, Eric Menk, Rudy Hatfield, Mick Pennisi, and Davonn Harp. This led to a "witch hunt" within the league, with some players being deported and others facing scrutiny from the Bureau of Immigration.


One player who was impacted by this controversy was Davonn Harp, who was reportedly in the running for the MVP award but ultimately missed out. Some speculate that the league was cautious about its image and chose to award the MVP to Willie Miller instead, even though Miller was still trying to establish himself in the league. To this day, Willie Miller is the only player to win the MVP award with a single-digit scoring average.




2012-13 SEASON

12.5ppg | 8.5rpg | 1.2apg | 1.0spg | 1.0bpg | 52 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | GOVERNORS' CUP


BEST FINISH:

RUNNER-UP | GOVERNORS' CUP (VS SAN MIG COFFEE)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. SAN MIG COFFEE | 38 - 26

2. ALASKA | 35 - 20 (M5 - Calvin Abueva)

3. TALK N TEXT | 35 - 21 (M5 - Jayson Castro and Ranidel De Ocampo)

5. PETRON | 29 - 23 (M5 - Arwind Santos)

6. GINEBRA | 24 - 28 (M5 - LA Tenorio)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

CALVIN ABUEVA

12.3ppg | 9.4rpg | 1.8apg | 0.9spg | 0.8bpg | 51 games


Since joining the league in 2006, Arwind Santos has consistently been named to the Mythical Squad. However, the PBA MVP award had previously eluded him. In the 2012-13 season, during the Governors' Cup, Santos had a standout performance, likely benefiting from the fact that his main competition, Calvin Abueva, struggled in the same conference. Santos was able to secure the MVP award, and thankfully so as he would go on to play a supporting role to June Mar Fajardo in future seasons.




2009-10 SEASON

18.0ppg | 3.5rpg | 2.0apg | 0.6spg | 64 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | PHILIPPINE CUP

FINALS MVP | PHILIPPINE CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | PHILIPPINE CUP (VS ALASKA)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. B-MEG DERBY ACE | 41 - 23 (M5 - James Yap)

2. ALASKA | 39 - 23 (M5 - LA Tenorio and Sonny Thoss)

3. SAN MIGUEL | 36 - 20 (M5 - Arwind Santos and Jay Washington)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

JAY WASHINGTON

14.6ppg | 7.1rpg | 1.9apg | 41 games


ARWIND SANTOS

14.6ppg | 7.9rpg | 1.3apg | 1.1spg | 1.3bpg | 55 games


James Yap received his second MVP award, despite strong performances from the Petronovela duo of Arwind Santos and Jay Washington of San Miguel and the tandem of Sonny Thoss and LA Tenorio from Alaska. Yap was the only player that season to win a championship, the Finals MVP award, and the BPC (Best Player of the Conference) award. Washington, the BPC of the Fiesta Cup, missed 15 games for the Beermen, while Alaska had a more balanced offense with Joe Devance making the Second Team and Cyrus Baguio sharing Finals MVP honors with Tenorio. This was the final year of the James Yap and Ryan Gregorio era with Purefoods, as Gregorio moved to Meralco the following season.




2013-14 SEASON

16.8ppg | 14.2rpg | 1.4apg | 2.1bpg | 37 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | PHILIPPINE CUP


BEST FINISH:

SEMIFINALS | PHILIPPINE CUP


TEAM W-L RECORD:

1. SAN MIG COFFEE | 41 - 30 (M5 - Mark Barroca)

2. RAIN OR SHINE | 37 - 24

3. TALK N TEXT | 33 - 16 (M5 - Jayson Castro and Ranidel De Ocampo)

4. SAN MIGUEL / PETRON | 25 - 17 (M5 - June Mar Fajardo)

7. AIR21 | 15 - 25 (M5 - Asi Taulava)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

JAYSON CASTRO

16.8ppg | 4.0rpg | 4.2apg | 0.9spg | 49 games


San Mig Coffee became the fifth team to win a grand slam in the PBA. Jayson Castro and Ranidel De Ocampo won BPC awards, and Mark Barroca also won a Finals MVP, with the other two going to James Yap. However, June Mar Fajardo put up impressive numbers, particularly in rebounds and blocks, that were comparable to those of imports. His scoring numbers were also strong, as he was the second-highest-scoring local player of the season. The league had not seen numbers like this from a local player since the days of Asi Taulava and Eric Menk.




2008-09 SEASON

17.6ppg | 3.8rpg | 5.0apg | 0.9spg | 46 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | PHILIPPINE CUP


BEST FINISH:

RUNNER-UP | FIESTA CUP (VS SAN MIGUEL)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. SAN MIGUEL | 36 - 25 (M5 - Jay Washington)

2. GINEBRA | 27 - 22 (M5 - Jayjay Helterbrand)

3. TALK N TEXT | 26 - 21 (M5 - Macmac Cardona)

5. BURGER KING/AIR21 | 23 - 22 (M5 - Arwind Santos)

8. COCA-COLA | 13 - 21 (M5 - Asi Taulava)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

MACMAC CARDONA

20.2ppg | 4.0rpg | 2.3apg | 1.0spg | 46 games


As Eric Menk struggled to find his form and Mark Caguioa dealt with injuries, Jayjay Helterbrand took on a leading role for the Gins. While he was unable to secure a championship, the competition for the MVP award was not particularly strong. Willie Miller, the Philippine Cup BPC, dropped to the Mythical Second Team. Meanwhile, Jay Washington had no BPC or Finals MVP awards to show for the season, and Talk N Text performed poorly in the Fiesta Cup. Helterbrand, a fan favorite known for his ability to score, had only scored in double digits in 5 out of 16 PBA seasons, but he became the favored choice for the MVP award. Macmac Cardona also had a strong showing, but his efforts were not enough to surpass those of Helterbrand.




1980 SEASON

17.8ppg | 6.7rpg | 3.6apg | 1.5bpg | 58 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | ALL-FILIPINO CONFERENCE (VS TOYOTA)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. CRISPA | 44 - 15 (M5 - Philip Cezar and Atoy Co)

2. TOYOTA | 40 - 21 (M5 - Ramon Fernandez and Robert Jaworski)

3. U/TEX | 24 - 28 (M5 - Bogs Adornado)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

RAMON FERNANDEZ

15.9ppg | 8.8rpg | 3.7apg | 1.5spg | 1.8bpg | 53 games


ROBERT JAWORSKI

17.5ppg | 6.8rpg | 5.8apg | 1.3spg | 57 games


ATOY CO

18.7ppg | 3.9rpg | 4.8apg | 59 games


Philip Cezar won his first and only MVP award by outplaying the formidable duo of Ramon Fernandez and Robert Jaworski, as well as the previous season's MVP, Atoy Co. All four players had strong cases for the award, but it was particularly disappointing for Fernandez and Jaworski. The duo led Toyota to three finals appearances but ultimately lost all three trips. Meanwhile, Cezar and the Redmanizers were able to win the All-Filipino Championship.




2020 SEASON

18.5ppg | 5.9rpg | 3.7apg | 1.0spg | 22 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

ELITE 5


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | PHILIPPINE CUP (VS TNT)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. GINEBRA | 16 - 6 (M5 - Stanley Pringle and Japeth Aguilar)

2. TNT | 12 - 10 (M5 - JP Erram)

3. PHOENIX | 11 - 6 (M5 - Matthew Wright and Calvin Abueva)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

CALVIN ABUEVA

15.4ppg | 11.3rpg | 5.2apg | 1.7spg | 12 games


MATTHEW WRIGHT

21.1ppg | 4.4rpg | 5.5apg | 1.2spg | 17 games


The elephant in the room is the fact that Stanley Pringle did not win the MVP award. It's a BPC award.


I also thought the BPC of this conference should have been the MVP award.


I never had a problem with the 2004-05 Fiesta Cup because they said it was a transitional conference. The 2004 rookies were carried over to the 2004-05 PBA season. But this is called the 45th PBA season with a championship, a Most Improved Player, and a rookie draft.


With the influx of young and underdeveloped players, I guess you can't blame the other players to try their luck in the other Asian leagues.


Anyway, Pringle had similar stats during his time with Northport when he played this season for Ginebra. However, the key difference this "season" was the absence of June Mar Fajardo due to injury and the fact that Pringle was playing for a successful team. In addition to Pringle, Matthew Wright improved his game significantly and Calvin Abueva returned with improved play and a new perspective. Pringle is the clear frontrunner though - considering his team ended up with the title and the best record.




1981 SEASON

26.2ppg | 4.0rpg | 2.6apg | 0.4bpg | 51 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM


BEST FINISH:

RUNNER-UP | REINFORCED FILIPINO CONFERENCE (VS CRISPA)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. CRISPA | 36 - 18 (M5 - Philip Cezar and Atoy Co)

2. U/TEX | 34 - 19 (M5 - Bogs Adornado)

3. TOYOTA | 29 - 14 (M5 - Ramon Fernandez and Robert Jaworski)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

ATOY CO

19.0ppg | 3.4rpg | 4.3apg | 47 games


PHILIP CEZAR

16.3ppg | 5.8rpg | 3.4apg | 1.4bpg | 52 games


This was a redemption season for Bogs Adornado, as he joined the U/Tex Wranglers after a career-threatening injury and a so-so role with the Redmanizers. Despite winning back-to-back MVP titles in 1975 and 1976, Adornado's role on the team had diminished, particularly with the rise of Freddie Hubalde. Adornado's move to U/Tex saved his career and allowed him to reclaim his status as a star player. Even though the Crispa Redmanizers won a championship and had a runner-up finish, it was Adornado who earned his third MVP award. This was Adornado's best scoring season since 1975, and only the fourth time in his eight seasons in the PBA that he averaged over 20 points per game.




1977 SEASON

17.3ppg | 4.6rpg | 2.9apg | 0.8spg | 64 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | ALL-FILIPINO CONFERENCE (VS MARIWASA)

CHAMPION | OPEN CONFERENCE (VS U/TEX)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. CRISPA | 49 - 15 (M5 - Freddie Hubalde and Atoy Co)

2. TOYOTA | 41 - 22 (M5 - Ramon Fernandez and Robert Jaworski)

3. TANDUAY | 29 - 28

5. MARIWASA | 16 - 29 (M5 - Adriano "Jun" Papa)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

ATOY CO

22.5ppg | 2.6rpg | 3.8apg | 0.9bpg | 62 games


It seems that Freddie Hubalde was fortunate to receive an increased scoring role due to the injury of Bogs Adornado. Hubalde's success came towards the end of the 1976 season, when his numbers significantly increased. He filled the void left by Adornado, becoming the second Crispa player to win the MVP award. It is worth noting that Atoy Co, who led the Redmanizers in scoring, may have also been a strong contender for the award.




1987 SEASON

19.4ppg | 10.7rpg | 2.9apg | 0.8bpg | 64 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | REINFORCED CONFERENCE (VS HILLS BROS.)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. SAN MIGUEL | 43 - 23 (M5 - Abet Guidaben and Hector Calma)

2. GREAT TASTE | 35 - 25 (M5 - Philip Cezar and Allan Caidic)

3. GINEBRA | 33 - 35

4. HILLS BROS. | 29 - 29 (M5 - Yoyoy Villamin)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

YOYOY VILLAMIN

17.4ppg | 11.0rpg | 4.1apg | 1.9bpg | 58 games


The 1980s saw a rivalry between two dominant big men, Ramon Fernandez and Abet Guidaben, as they both won MVP awards during the decade. After Fernandez won his third MVP award the previous season, it was Guidaben's turn to catch up. Interestingly, one of Guidaben's most significant competitors for the MVP award was a former Crispa teammate. Yoyoy Villamin, known as "The Bicolano Superman", made it to the finals twice and could have potentially won the MVP award.




1998 SEASON

15.7ppg | 5.1rpg | 3.3apg | 1.1bpg | 51 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | COMMISSIONER'S CUP

FINALS MVP | ALL-FILIPINO CUP

FINALS MVP | COMMISSIONER'S CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | ALL-FILIPINO CUP (VS SAN MIGUEL)

CHAMPION | COMMISSIONER'S CUP (VS SAN MIGUEL)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. SAN MIGUEL | 43 - 31

2. ALASKA | 41 - 25 (M5 - Kenneth Duremdes, Johnny Abarrientos, and Jojo Lastimosa)

3. SHELL | 31 - 30

6. PUREFOODS | 27 - 32 (M5 - Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codinera)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

JERRY CODINERA

12.8ppg | 7.6rpg | 1.7apg | 0.9bpg | 59 games


Kenneth Duremdes' success was long in coming, as he played behind franchise player Vergel Meneses in Sunkist. However, things began to change for Duremdes when Alaska won a grand slam and traded for him as part of a package deal involving rising star Dwight Lago. In 1998, Duremdes joined Alaska and helped lead the team to All-Filipino and Commissioner's Cup championships, winning two Finals MVPs and a BPC (Best Player of the Conference) in the process. If it weren't for the "Centennial Dream Team," Alaska may have had the chance to win their second grand slam with the way they were playing. Duremdes' biggest rival for the MVP award was likely Jerry Codinera, the only Mythical First Teamer who did not play in the 1998 Asian Games, as he also won his second BPC in the Governors' Cup.




2006-07 SEASON

19.1ppg | 4.7rpg | 5.2apg | 0.8spg | 53 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

FINALS MVP | FIESTA CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | FIESTA CUP (VS TALK N TEXT)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. SAN MIGUEL | 35 - 27 (M5 - Dorian Pena)

2. TALK N TEXT | 35 - 30 (M5 - Jay Washington)

3. GINEBRA | 34 - 18

5. ALASKA | 30 - 23 (M5 - Willie Miller)

6. AIR21 | 22 - 22 (M5 - Gary David)

8. STA. LUCIA | 17 - 27 (M5 - Kelly Williams)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

MACMAC CARDONA

18.1ppg | 4.4rpg | 2.5apg | 62 games


MARK CAGUIOA

24.6ppg | 4.9rpg | 4.4apg | 30 games


This was a strange season, as Ginebra won the Philippine Cup, with Mark Caguioa winning the BPC (Best Player of the Conference) and Jayjay Helterbrand winning the Finals MVP award. Similarly, Talk N Text's Macmac Cardona scored his first and only BPC in the Fiesta Cup, while the team finished as runners-up. While Willie Miller certainly deserved his second MVP award, it is worth noting that both Cardona and Caguioa had strong performances and could have potentially earned First or Second Team Mythical selections if not for the unique circumstances of the season. Ultimately, Miller's success was aided by the circumstances around him.




1992 SEASON

20.7ppg | 4.2rpg | 3.5apg | 0.6spg | 74 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | ALL-FILIPINO CONFERENCE (VS PUREFOODS)

RUNNER-UP | FIRST CONFERENCE (VS SHELL)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. SWIFT | 43 - 26 (M5 - Nelson Asaytono and Al Solis)

2. SAN MIGUEL | 43 - 31 (M5 - Ato Agustin and Ramon Fernandez)

3. PEPSI | 28 - 25

4. PUREFOODS | 28 - 30 (M5 - Alvin Patrimonio)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

NELSON ASAYTONO

22.4ppg | 8.2rpg | 2.1apg | 1.2bpg | 69 games


In 1990, the PBA welcomed two new expansion teams, Swift and Pepsi, to the league. While Pepsi struggled to find success, Swift made a significant impact in the early 90s, with many of its key players coming from Purefoods and Alaska. Nelson Asaytono and Al Solis, both former Purefoods players, helped lead Swift to their first championship against their former team. However, this was also the year of Ato Agustin, who remains the only second-round pick to win the MVP award. Agustin stepped up to fill in for injured teammates like Samboy Lim, Hector Calma, and Franz Pumaren. Ramon Fernandez also earned a Mythical 5 selection, but this was also his lowest-scoring season since debuting in 1975.




2003 SEASON

20.2ppg | 11.1rpg | 2.0apg | 0.8bpg | 34 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | ALL-FILIPINO CUP

FINALS MVP | ALL-FILIPINO CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | ALL-FILIPINO CUP (VS COCA-COLA)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. COCA-COLA | 44 - 21 (M5 - Jeffrey Cariaso and Rudy Hatfield)

2. TALK N TEXT | 32 - 24 (M5 - Asi Taulava and Jimmy Alapag)

3. ALASKA | 31 - 25

6. STA. LUCIA | 23 - 27 (M5 - Dennis Espino)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

RUDY HATFIELD

13.7ppg | 10.7rpg | 4.3apg | 1.8spg | 65 games


2003 marked a turning point for Asi Taulava, who had previously faced harassment and the threat of deportation. Taulava made a strong comeback and had a highly successful season, winning a championship, the BPC award, and the Finals MVP award in the All-Filipino Cup. This impressive feat ultimately led to Taulava being named the MVP for the season. While Rudy Hatfield was a formidable rival for the MVP title, having led Coca-Cola to the finals in all three conferences and winning a championship, a BPC award, and the Defensive Player of the Year award, Taulava's grand slam-like performance ultimately gave him the edge.




2010-11 SEASON

12.4ppg | 2.9rpg | 5.4apg | 0.5spg | 63 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | COMMISSIONER'S CUP

FINALS MVP | PHILIPPINE CUP

FINALS MVP | COMMISSIONER'S CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | PHILIPPINE CUP (VS SAN MIGUEL)

CHAMPION | COMMISSIONER'S CUP (VS GINEBRA)

RUNNER-UP | GOVERNORS' CUP (VS SAN MIGUEL/PETRON)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. TALK N TEXT | 47 - 17 (M5 - Jimmy Alapag and Kelly Williams)

2. GINEBRA | 34 - 24 (M5 - Mark Caguioa)

3. PETRON/SAN MIGUEL | 32 - 24 (M5 - Arwind Santos)

4. ALASKA | 22 - 20 (M5 - Sonny Thoss)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

ARWIND SANTOS

15.3ppg | 10.7rpg | 1.2apg | 1.0spg | 1.3bpg | 56 games


Talk N Text was very close to becoming the fifth team in PBA history to win the grand slam, but they were ultimately thwarted by the Petron Blaze Boosters and their star player, Arwind Santos. Despite this disappointment, Jimmy Alapag won the MVP award due to his impressive performances as a BPC (Best Player of the Conference) and two Finals MVPs. Despite posting the second-lowest averages in points, rebounds, and assists of his career since joining the PBA in 2003, Alapag was arguably the clear choice for the award. He is also the lowest-drafted player to win the MVP award since Ato Agustin in 1992.




1990 SEASON

26.6ppg | 3.7rpg | 3.8apg | 1.3spg | 65 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | ALL-FILIPINO CONFERENCE (VS PUREFOODS)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. PRESTO | 40 - 29 (M5 - Allan Caidic)

2. SHELL | 35 - 21 (M5 - Benjie Paras and Ronnie Magsanoc)

3. PUREFOODS | 34 - 25 (M5 - Alvin Patrimonio)

6. ALASKA | 29 - 30 (M5 - Bong Alvarez)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

BENJIE PARAS

23.1ppg | 9.2rpg | 2.3apg | 1.9bpg | 47 games


Allan Caidic prevented Benjie Paras from achieving back-to-back MVP wins, a feat that had not been accomplished since Bogs Adornado's consecutive MVP victories in 1975 and 1976. Although Shell had made it to the finals twice, Caidic's leadership of Presto to a championship win in the All-Filipino Cup, the most prestigious of the three conferences, likely contributed to his MVP win. Bong Alvarez also earned a spot in the Mythical 5 after breaking the record for the most points scored by a local player in a single game with 71 points. This record would be broken by Caidic the following year.




2015-16 SEASON

19.7ppg | 12.2rpg | 1.3apg | 1.4bpg | 52 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | PHILIPPINE CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | PHILIPPINE CUP (VS ALASKA)


TEAM W-L RECORD:

1. SAN MIGUEL | 38 - 20 (M5 - June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos)

2. ALASKA | 36 - 24 (M5 - Calvin Abueva)

3. RAIN OR SHINE | 33 - 21

5. TALK N TEXT | 26 - 17 (M5 - Jayson Castro)

7. GLOBALPORT | 17 - 23 (M5 - Terrence Romeo)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

JAYSON CASTRO

20.3ppg | 4.0rpg | 6.1apg | 1.1spg | 41 games


CALVIN ABUEVA

15.4ppg | 8.5rpg | 2.5apg | 1.2spg | 58 games


This season marked June Mar Fajardo's third MVP win, but in my opinion, Calvin Abueva and Jayson Castro also had strong seasons. Despite making it to the finals twice, Alaska never won the title and Abueva's behavior attracted some criticism. Meanwhile, Castro was facing the challenge of playing without his longtime backcourt partner Jimmy Alapag, and his team, TNT, struggled to match their nearly grand slam-level performance from the previous season. Overall, it was a competitive season with several standout players vying for the MVP award.




1991 SEASON

21.8ppg | 9.0rpg | 2.8apg | 1.3bpg | 56 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | ALL-FILIPINO CONFERENCE (VS SARSI)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. GINEBRA | 33 - 27

2. SAN MIGUEL | 33 - 31 (M5 - Ramon Fernandez)

3. ALASKA | 31 - 25 (M5 - Jojo Lastimosa)

5. PUREFOODS | 27 - 30 (M5 - Alvin Patrimonio)

6. SHELL | 23 - 25 (M5 - Benjie Paras)

7. TIVOLI | 21 - 28 (M5 - Allan Caidic)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

JOJO LASTIMOSA

22.5ppg | 4.0rpg | 4.0apg | 56 games


RAMON FERNANDEZ

18.8ppg | 7.2rpg | 5.0apg | 1.2spg | 1.7bpg | 64 games


Alvin Patrimonio's first MVP win marked the beginning of a shift in power within the league. Although Ramon Fernandez continued to put up impressive numbers, his team, San Miguel, failed to reach the finals in all three conferences. This season also saw a change in the Mythical First Team, with a record five teams represented and Jojo Lastimosa emerging as a key player for Alaska's future championship dynasty. Patrimonio's MVP win signaled a changing of the guard in the league, with the pioneers and the 80s stars taking a backseat.




2007-08 SEASON

18.2ppg | 10.7rpg | 1.7apg | 0.9spg | 53 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | PHILIPPINE CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | PHILIPPINE CUP (VS PUREFOODS)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. RED BULL | 31 - 22

2. STA. LUCIA | 29 - 25 (M5 - Kelly Williams)

3. GINEBRA | 28 - 22 (M5 - Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand)

4. AIR21 | 27 - 24 (M5 - Arwind Santos)

8. COCA-COLA | 20 - 23 (M5 - Asi Taulava)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

JAYJAY HELTERBRAND

18.1ppg | 4.7rpg | 6.5apg | 45 games


MARK CAGUIOA

19.8ppg | 4.2rpg | 2.2apg | 39 games


Kelly Williams became the fourth sophomore player after Bogs Adornado, Willie Miller, and James Yap to win the MVP award. The interesting thing about this win is that the Sta. Lucia Realtors were initially uncertain about selecting Williams. Before his selection, the team had gambled on Rob Parker and Alex Cabagnot, with disappointing results. Fortunately, Williams, a player discovered by Chot Reyes, proved to be a valuable asset for the team, leading them to their second PBA championship. This was also the first and only time that the iconic duo of Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand, the Fiesta Cup BPC, were both parts of the Mythical First Team at the same time.




1988 SEASON

14.5ppg | 7.5rpg | 4.4apg | 1.1bpg | 67 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM


BEST FINISH:

RUNNER-UP | OPEN CONFERENCE (VS SAN MIGUEL - as part of Purefoods)

RUNNER-UP | ALL-FILIPINO CONFERENCE (VS SAN MIGUEL - as part of Anejo)

CHAMPION | REINFORCED CONFERENCE (VS SHELL - as part of San Miguel)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. SAN MIGUEL | 46 - 26 (M5 - Ramon Fernandez*, Abet Guidaben*, Hector Calma, and Ricardo Brown)

2. GINEBRA/ANEJO | 40 - 30

3. PUREFOODS | 30 - 29 (M5 - Ramon Fernandez* and Abet Guidaben*)

5. GREAT TASTE/PRESTO | 26 - 34 (M5 - Allan Caidic)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

ABET GUIDABEN

18.8ppg | 10.6rpg | 3.2apg | 57 games


1988 was a unique season as it marked the final year that a PBA pioneer would win the MVP award. There was also significant intrigue surrounding the award that year. Tanduay disbanded and their franchise was given to Purefoods. Fernandez began the season as the playing coach, but by the All-Filipino Conference, team management wanted him gone. In the All-Filipino Finals, The Franchise famously rode the bench so that all attention was on Jojo Lastimosa and the up-and-coming duo of Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codinera. This ultimately resulted in a trade that sent Fernandez to San Miguel in exchange for forever rival Abet Guidaben, who was dominating SMB at the time. In hindsight, this could have been a potential back-to-back MVP claim for Guidaben.




2000 SEASON

15.2ppg | 8.8rpg | 3.2apg | 0.8bpg | 55 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | COMMISSIONER'S CUP

BPC | GOVERNORS' CUP

FINALS MVP | COMMISSIONER'S CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | COMMISSIONER'S CUP (VS STA. LUCIA)

CHAMPION | GOVERNORS' CUP (VS PUREFOODS)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. SAN MIGUEL | 40 - 18 (M5 - Danny Ildefonso, Danny Seigle, and Olsen Racela)

2. ALASKA | 31 - 18 (M5 - Kenneth Duremdes)

3. TANDUAY | 28 - 18

4. PUREFOODS | 27 - 28 (M5 - Alvin Patrimonio)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

DANNY SEIGLE

20.1ppg | 6.0rpg | 2.8apg | 51 games


KENNETH DUREMDES

16.4ppg | 5.8rpg | 5.8apg | 49 games


There was a time when Danny Ildefonso was perceived as a lesser version of Romel Adducul. If Adducul had chosen to join the PBA instead of the MBA, he would have likely been the top pick. However, Ildefonso made the most of his opportunity and was fortunate to be selected by the superstar-seeking San Miguel team. After Ron Jacobs handed over the coaching reins to Jong Uichico, San Miguel dominated the PBA, thanks in part to the contributions of Ildefonso, Danny Seigle, and Olsen Racela. Seigle was also a contender for the MVP award that season. Kenneth Duremdes was also the BPC of the All-Filipino Cup that season.




2005-06 SEASON

17.6ppg | 4.4rpg | 1.2apg | 1.2spg | 57 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | PHILIPPINE CUP (VS RED BULL)

RUNNER-UP | FIESTA CUP (VS RED BULL)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. RED BULL | 38 - 29 (M5 - Enrico Villanueva and Lordy Tugade)

2. PUREFOODS | 36 - 21 (M5 - James Yap, Kerby Raymundo, and Roger Yap)

3. AIR21 | 26 - 26


BIGGEST RIVALS:

KERBY RAYMUNDO

15.0ppg | 9.5rpg | 3.0apg | 1.1bpg | 55 games


ENRICO VILLANUEVA

12.9ppg | 8.0rpg | 2.3apg | 1.3bpg | 67 games


The 2006-07 season was one in which many expected a close competition for the MVP award between Kerby "Ako Ang MVP" Raymundo and Enrico Villanueva. While Villanueva won the Philippine Cup BPC, Raymundo had better overall averages. However, James Yap, a second-year player without a BPC or Finals MVP to his name, surprised everyone by winning his first MVP award. While Yap's mainstream popularity may have contributed to his success, he also played exceptional basketball towards the end of the season. It is also worth noting that Danny Seigle, the Fiesta Conference Best Player, was the first player to win a BPC but not make the Mythical First Team.


2021 SEASON

13.9ppg | 9.0rpg | 5.4apg | 1.2spg | 33 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | GOVERNORS' CUP

FINALS MVP | GOVERNORS' CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | GOVERNORS' CUP (VS MERALCO)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. MAGNOLIA | 27 - 14 (M5 - Calvin Abueva)

2. TNT | 26 - 11 (M5 - Mikey Williams)

3. MERALCO | 25 - 17

4. GINEBRA | 20 - 16 (M5 - Scottie Thompson)

5. SAN MIGUEL | 19 - 13 (M5 - June Mar Fajardo)

7. NORTHPORT | 11 - 14 (M5 - Arwind Santos)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

CALVIN ABUEVA

14.5ppg | 8.8rpg | 2.3apg | 1.0spg | 0.9bpg | 34 games


MIKEY WILLIAMS

19.5ppg | 4.4rpg | 4.4apg | 0.9spg | 36 games


With June Mar Fajardo still working to regain form following an injury, the MVP race was a three-way battle between Mikey Williams of TNT, Calvin Abueva of Magnolia, and Scottie Thompson of Ginebra. Japeth Aguilar could have been a contender if he had played more games, but Thompson stepped up in his absence, winning the BPC and Finals MVP as Ginebra claimed the championship. I know this is a controversial rank for Scottie, but this is where the stats part works in his favor. Thompson's impressive stats, including those typically seen from a big man as well as those of a guard, helped him rise in the ranks.




1997 SEASON

20.3ppg | 7.5rpg | 2.7apg | 0.5bpg | 63 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | GOVERNORS' CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | ALL-FILIPINO CUP (VS GORDON'S GIN)

RUNNER-UP | GOVERNORS' CUP (VS ALASKA)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. GORDON'S GIN | 39 - 29 (M5 - Marlou Aquino and Vince Hizon)

2. ALASKA | 35 - 25 (M5 - Johnny Abarrientos)

3. SAN MIGUEL | 35 - 28 (M5 - Nelson Asaytono)

4. PUREFOODS | 34 - 29 (M5 - Alvin Patrimonio)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

NELSON ASAYTONO

23.1ppg | 7.1rpg | 2.7apg | 61 games


JOHNNY ABARRIENTOS

16.7ppg | 4.6rpg | 6.0apg | 2.2spg | 60 games


The All-Filipino Cup is considered a crucial event in the PBA because all the teams compete against each other without the assistance of foreign players. This unique aspect of the conference may have contributed to Alvin Patrimonio's impressive achievement of winning his fourth MVP award. Patrimonio also claimed the BPC title for the season, which likely garnered him additional votes for the MVP award. However, Patrimonio faced tough competition from Johnny Abarrientos, the previous season's MVP, and Nelson Asaytono, who was attempting to become the first local player since Danny Florencio to score 30 points in a single conference. Despite these challenges, Patrimonio ultimately emerged as the MVP winner.




1999 SEASON

15.7ppg | 6.6rpg | 3.6apg | 2.2bpg | 56 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | COMMISSIONER'S CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | ALL-FILIPINO CUP (VS TANDUAY)

RUNNER-UP | COMMISSIONER'S CUP (VS SAN MIGUEL)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. SAN MIGUEL | 35 - 20 (M5 - Danny Seigle)

2. ALASKA | 32 - 24 (M5 - Johnny Abarrientos)

3. SHELL | 32 - 24 (M5 - Benjie Paras)

4. TANDUAY | 28 - 22 (M5 - Sonny Alvarado)

6. MOBILINE | 18 - 19 (M5 - Jeffrey Cariaso)


BIGGEST RIVAL:

DANNY SEIGLE

18.2ppg | 7.2rpg | 2.0apg | 55 games


In 1999, the PBA faced several challenges, including competition from the rival MBA and the influx of Fil-American players who were perceived by some as arrogant and lacking in authenticity. In this context, Benjie Paras' strong performance was a welcome relief. Although Danny Seigle, Eric Menk, Sonny Alvarado, and Asi Taulava all had solid statistics, Paras stood out with his reworked playstyle and determination. Despite years of dealing with injuries, he managed to reclaim his form and win his second MVP award. Seigle may have had a successful season with two championships, two Finals MVP titles, and a BPC award, but Paras' comeback was a standout moment in a tumultuous year for the PBA.




1995 SEASON

20.0ppg | 3.3rpg | 5.4apg | 0.6bpg | 70 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | ALL-FILIPINO CUP

BPC | COMMISSIONER'S CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | ALL-FILIPINO CUP (VS ALASKA)

CHAMPION | COMMISSIONER'S CUP (VS ALASKA)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. SUNKIST | 49 - 23 (M5 - Vergel Meneses)

2. ALASKA | 46 - 29 (M5 - Johnny Abarrientos and Bong Hawkins)

3. PUREFOODS | 30 - 31

4. SAN MIGUEL | 27 - 23 (M5 - Allan Caidic)

6. SHELL | 20 - 34 (M5 - Benjie Paras)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

BONG HAWKINS

18.2ppg | 8.2rpg | 2.9apg | 73 games


JOHNNY ABARRIENTOS

16.0ppg | 4.1rpg | 5.6apg | 1.8spg | 74 games


Vergel Meneses was a strong candidate for the MVP award in 1995 due to his impressive track record of winning three consecutive BPC titles, including his victory in the 1994 Governors' Cup. Meneses also played a key role in leading his team, the Sunkist Orange Juicers, to victory in the All-Filipino and Commissioner's Cup conferences. The only potential hurdle for Meneses' MVP bid might have been the success of the Alaska team, which won the Governors' Cup and made it to the finals in all three conferences of the season. In this case, Johnny Abarrientos or Bong Hawkins could have been considered alternative MVP candidates. However, Allan Caidic was ultimately awarded the BPC title for the 1995 Governors' Cup, further solidifying Meneses' position as the top choice for MVP.




1979 SEASON

23.2ppg | 3.6rpg | 4.0apg | 0.9spg | 62 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | ALL-FILIPINO CONFERENCE (VS TOYOTA)

RUNNER-UP | INVITATIONAL CONFERENCE (VS TOYOTA)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. TOYOTA | 44 - 18 (M5 - Ramon Fernandez, Robert Jaworski, and Arnie Tuadles)

2. CRISPA | 42 - 20 (M5 - Atoy Co and Philip Cezar)

3. ROYAL | 28 - 19


BIGGEST RIVALS:

RAMON FERNANDEZ

18.9ppg | 9.4rpg | 4.0apg | 1.4spg | 2.5bpg | 53 games


ROBERT JAWORSKI

16.3ppg | 8.0rpg | 7.2apg | 1.6spg | 60 games


While Atoy Co is a deserving candidate for the MVP award, I believe that either Robert Jaworski or Ramon Fernandez could have also been strong contenders for the title this season. Both players had impressive averages and made it to the finals three times, which could have made them viable candidates for the MVP award. However, it is important to consider that Co has a long history of being a top contender for the MVP award and may have been overdue for a win. While this season may not have been his best, it is possible that the league recognized Co's contributions and decided to reward him with the MVP award. Again, I am not saying that this is a tainted award because his awards and accomplishments during that season are just insane. A superstar like Atoy Co deserves to win at least one PBA MVP award after scoring nine Mythical First Teams in the league's first decade.




1994 SEASON

19.8ppg | 8.3rpg | 2.5apg | 1.1bpg | 63 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | COMMISSIONER'S CUP


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | COMMISSIONER'S CUP (VS ALASKA)

RUNNER-UP | ALL-FILIPINO CUP (VS SAN MIGUEL)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. ALASKA | 45 - 28 (M5 - Johnny Abarrientos)

2. SWIFT | 40 - 33 (M5 - Vergel Meneses)

3. CONEY ISLAND/PUREFOODS | 37 - 26 (M5 - Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codinera)

4. SAN MIGUEL | 31 - 26 (M5 - Ato Agustin)


BIGGEST RIVALS:

VERGEL MENESES

19.6ppg | 4.6rpg | 3.1apg | 71 games


JERRY CODINERA

15.1ppg | 7.2rpg | 1.4apg | 1.2bpg | 62 games


Alvin Patrimonio made history by becoming the first player since Bogs Adornado to win back-to-back MVP awards. However, Patrimonio was reportedly less enthusiastic about this victory, feeling that his teammate Jerry Codinera deserved the award more. Codinera had a standout season, winning the BPC award in the All-Filipino Cup, being named the league's Defensive Player of the Year, and earning his first Mythical 5 selection after four consecutive Second Team honors. The introduction of the BPC award also opened the door for Vergel Meneses to be considered as a potential MVP winner, as he outperformed Nelson Asaytono and claimed the BPC award for the Governors' Cup conference.




2004-05 SEASON

17.5ppg | 12.8rpg | 2.3apg | 0.4spg | 71 games


INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM

BPC | FIESTA CUP - TRANSITION CONFERENCE (VS RED BULL)

BPC | PHILIPPINE CUP (VS TALK N TEXT)

FINALS MVP | FIESTA CUP - TRANSITION CONFERENCE (VS RED BULL)

FINALS MVP | PHILIPPINE CUP (VS TALK N TEXT)


BEST FINISH:

CHAMPION | FIESTA CUP - TRANSITION CONFERENCE (VS RED BULL)

CHAMPION | PHILIPPINE CUP (VS TALK N TEXT)


TEAM W-L RECORD (TOTAL WINS):

1. SAN MIGUEL | 35 - 22 (M5 - Nic Belasco and Dorian Pena)

2. TALK N TEXT | 34 - 21 (M5 - Jimmy Alapag and Willie Miller)

3. GINEBRA | 28 - 21 (M5 - Eric Menk)

* note: Team records exclude the 2004 Fiesta Cup


BIGGEST RIVAL:

WILLIE MILLER

16.1ppg | 5.9rpg | 4.7apg | 1.3spg | 80 games


Despite facing scrutiny and possible deportation due to citizenship issues, many Fil-American players continued to compete in the league, including Eric Menk, Sonny Alvarado, and Asi Taulava. Menk, in particular, made a strong comeback after the Tanduay team disbanded and he joined Ginebra. He had a highly successful season, winning the BPC and Finals MVP awards for both the transitional Fiesta Cup and the Philippine Cup. Menk's MVP campaign was almost flawless, with Willie Miller being the closest competitor.