Assuming these players’ paths brought them back to the PBA, of course.
June Mar Fajardo has achieved what was once deemed impossible after winning his seventh PBA MVP plum during the Leo Awards last Sunday.
It is highly unlikely that somebody from this generation could replicate such feat. But since we like “what ifs”, One Sports listed down some of the players who have a chance, regardless of how slim, to pull off what the San Miguel Beermen has done.
Most of the candidates here are not currently playing in the PBA, though. But this is assuming their paths led them back to Asia's pioneering league.
Scottie Thompson already has one. The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel guard is the only player to win the award since Fajardo hoisted his first MVP trophy in 2014.
Among the candidates here, the do-it-all Thompson probably has the biggest chance of duplicating Abai’s feat since Ginebra has always been a contender.
While his showing in the FIBA World Cup has left some fans wanting, one must understand that Kai Sotto is still a work in progress. With countless stints outside the Philippines, though, he’s going to get better.
And he’s 7-foot-3.
Assuming his path led him back to the PBA, he would definitely be a match-up problem for teams outside the likes of the Beermen and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
Dwight Ramos has always proven he is a cut above the rest. His game has done most of the talking.
A perfect game in a 93-61 win against Thailand in his Gilas Pilipinas debut? A 6-foot-4 point guard with the range and upper body strength that could match up against the world’s best? And like Sotto, the 25-year-old Levanga Hokkaido import is only getting better.
Need we say more?
Rhenz Abando has always been a winner.
In college, he helped put the Aldin Ayo-led UST Growling Tigers back on the map. But after being embroiled in an issue with regard to greasy food during the COVID-19 pandemic, he transferred to the Letran Knights and led them to the championship.
It didn’t stop there. Abanda took his talents to South Korea and made waves right away, steering the Anyang KGC to the championship in the Korean Basketball League and the East Asia Super League Champions Week, respectively.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see him have as much success should he decide to play in the PBA one day.
Kevin Quiambao is still in college. But as early as now, the La Salle Green Archers' main man has shown he could sit among the greats once he turned pro.
The MVP frontrunner won the Rookie of the Year award in the UAAP last season. He made a good account of himself in a Gilas uniform, flaunting his Nikola Jokic-like game.
And he’s only 22 years old.