Mercado, Santos, Abueva league's top performers

By Nelson Beltran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 21 2013 10:55 AM | Updated as of Jan 21 2013 06:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Meralco’s Sol Mercado, Petron Blaze’s Arwind Santos and Alaska super rookie Calvin Abueva led the list of top performers in terms of stats at the close of the 2012-13 PBA Philippine Cup.

Mercado carved a rare feat of leading the league both in scoring and assists while Santos and Abueva emerged the two players to average double-double numbers in the tournament that concluded with Talk n Text sweeping Rain or Shine for the crown.

Mark Caguioa, Gary David, Nino Cañaleta, Willie Miller, PJ Simon, James Yap, Jayson Castro and Cyrus Baguio ended up as among the league’s top scorers while Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross, Jimmy Alapag, Josh Urbiztondo, Mike Cortez, Chris Lutz, LA Tenorio and Jayvee Casio were among the tops in playmaking.

Doug Kramer, Junmar Fajardo, Rico Villanueva, Rico Maierhofer, Marc Pingris, Kelly Williams, Jervy Cruz and Jondan Salvador were among the best in the business of rebounding while Ross, Cabagnot, Bonbon Custodio, Ryan Reyes and Cortez gained distinction in the field of stealing the ball.

Mercado made it a tournament to remember by emerging the scoring champ with 19.13 points a game and also the assists king with 6.68 an outing.

Both were career-best averages for the Fil-foreign guard, marking a big rebound from a dip in his performance in his first full season as a Meralco Bolt last season when he normed only 13.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists.

The former Biola U stalwart stepped out of the shadow of Macmac Cardona in the recent all-Filipino tourney where he also logged averages of 2.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals while playing 35 minutes a game – the longest among the Bolts and fifth most in the tourney.

Thus, he contended for the Best Player of the Conference award consequently won by Castro.

Santos and Abueva also became official contenders for the BPC award for their impressive individual numbers.

Santos sustained his strong showing stats-wise, topping the rebounding race (12.0) and the blocks department (1.4) and placing fourth in scoring (17.40).

Abueva was also impressive with his averages of 14.5 points (second in his team), 10.6 rebounds (second in the league), 1.9 assists, 1.2 blocks (fourth in the league) and 1.1 steals (seventh in the league) as a freshman.

Many expect the Alaska prized rookie to do better as he settles down in the pros.

Caguioa remained Ginebra’s top gun, placing second to Mercado in the scoring race with 17.76 points an outing, followed by David, the three-time season scoring champ, who put in 17.63 points a game despite bouts with injuries.

After Santos came Canaleta at fifth (17.13), following the latter’s rise as take-charge guy in his transfer to Air21.

Rounding up the top 10 were Miller (16.71), Simon (16.24), Yap (16.00), Castro (15.54) and Baguio (15.36). It would be noted that Simon bumped off two-time MVP winner Yap as the leading scorer in their team.

Kramer was the only other player to average in double digits in rebounds with 10.429. He was followed by Fajardo (9.0), Villanueva (9.0), Maierhofer (8.8), Pingris (8.79), Williams (8.6), Cruz (8.2) and Salvador (7.5).

Miller remained a solid performer with averages of 16.7 points (league sixth best), 6.3 rebounds (team second best) and 6.2 assists (league second best). The most exposed player with 37.214 minutes a game, Miller, however, also ended up committing the most number of errors with 3.857 per contest.

Next to Mercado and Miller in assists were Cabagnot (5.6), Ross (5.09), Alapag (5.083), Urbiztondo (4.9), Cortez (4.7), Lutz (4.6), Tenorio (4.47) and Casio (2.273).

Ross was numero uno in steals, being the only player breaching the 2.0 mark with 2.091 average. Next were Cabagnot (1.467), Custodio (1.417), Reyes (1.375) and Cortez (1.214).

Leading three-point shooters, in terms of average per game made, were Casio (2.32), Ronjay Buenafe (2.31), Canaleta (2.20), Ronald Tubid (2.0) and Urbiztondo (2.0). Percentage-wise, tops were Baguio (49.15), John Wilson (42.11), Simon (41.82), RJ Jazul (41.27) and Canaleta (40.74).

David was No. 1 both in most free throws made (6.13 an outing) and free throw percentage (90.74).

Next to Miller in most botched plays were Mercado (3.250), Sean Anthony (3.214), Urbiztondo (2.6) and Canaleta (2.533). Awarded in most fouls, on the other hand, were Abueva (3.722), Cliff Hodge (3.625), Sonny Thoss (3.546), Billy Mamaril (3.471) and Kelly Nabong (3.455).