Thursday, July 26, 2012

For setting the league on fire, Gary David is my MVP. by Robi Raya.

by Robi Raya
Follow @DaRealRobiRaya on Twitter

The PBA MVP may be the most misleading MVP award in all of Philippine basketball; mainly because there has never been an archetypal PBA MVP and really, the most valuable players from conference to conference are the imports. The award, as a concept, is impossible to put in a box. You will never find a consensus definition for it. Parang love lang.  We each have our own understanding.

It can be given to the leader of the best team that year (Alapag 2011), or to the best player on the best team (Johnny Abarrientos 1996), or to the season’s best player (e.g. Kelly Williams 2008), or to the second best (Willie Miller 2007), to the most popular (James Yap 2006), to the most dominant (Asi Taulava 2003, Danny Ildefonso 2000, 2001), or to the “There was really no one else” MVP (Willie Miller, who by the way averaged 9ppg in 2002).

The PBA Most Valuable Player is construed in a different manner every year. The award evolves. It changes. The only premise is that the winner has to be valuable in his own way. He has to belong to a winning team and be essential to the team’s success. His team ultimately has to win enough games.

How many is enough?

Well, every winner of the award has either brought his team to at least two playoff appearances or won a championship that year. Gary David failed to do either. That’s why I understand why he shouldn’t win the Dekada ’70-Mano Po-like race for MVP against Mark Caguioa. Gets ko. Ginebra won enough, Powerade didn’t (Powerade finished with a 14-18 W-L record in all of the eliminations this year). In fact, Mark “The Spark” had my vote a few days ago. I was even this close to writing an “It’s about damn time Mark Caguioa wins MVP” article.

But it felt like I was forcing the award on Mark. Kasi parang ibibigay mo lang sa kanya. Pimples popped all over my face every time I tried to unearth sound reasons why he should win. “Bakit ba dapat si Mark Caguioa ang MVP?” I asked myself.  

Ultimately, the overriding sentiment is that Powerade didn’t win enough; that’s why we’re giving the MVP to the second best player of the season whose team went to the playoffs in all three conferences. I want my MVP to take it --- to grab the award like The Worm grabs rebounds. I want to be gung-ho about my MVP. I want him to own the season. Despite a losing record, despite only making the playoffs once this season, Gary David flat out owned the season!

The 2011-2012 Powerade Tigers were built like a complicated Ducati Monster, with missing and compromising parts, and with features tailored for a specific type of driver. Gary David happened to be the only person who could drive that monster in a race against F1 racecars. Only Gary could have lifted the Tigers’ inept lineup this season. No one else’s self-belief could have fooled Will Antonio, Rudy Lingganay, Celino Cruz, Francis Allera and co. into believing they could win games. That’s Gary David’s amazing impact. 

Okay. David defended like Melo. He was neither a good passer nor a good playmaker. But he made his teammates play loose and confident because they knew they had a shot at beating anyone. Going into a game with Gary David on your side is like going into a 2-against-5 bar fight with an MMA fighter. Beyond the 25ppg average (Last time a local averaged at least 25 a game over a full season? Alvin Patrimonio back in 1992) and the way he stretches the floor and attracts attention, that’s Gary’s true value. These are the reasons why he’s head and shoulders above the second best player this year.

If anyone argues that Powerade didn’t win enough this year, I will agree. Pero dapat mas ma-appreciate natin ‘yung pagBUHAT na ginawa ni Gary this season. He has the edge over any local who played exceptional in an import-laden conference. Because he brought a used-to-be cellar-dwelling lineup to the Philippine Cup Finals. Shouldn’t we give more weight to that?

Ten years from now, I’m sure we will all remember the 2011-2012 season for Gary David’s Hands-on-Fire Game versus B-MEG, for the game-saving buckets he drained against Rain Or Shine, for the 19 straight games he scored 20 or more, for the “I’m gonna say Cinderella run because it simply was a Cinderella run” run by Powerade in the Philippine Cup. Everyone fed off of his energy --- including AKTV and the PBA’s television ratings. An afterthought turned iconic player produced iconic moments and a watershed year for the whole league.

Ten years from now, when we reminisce about the 2011-2012 season, the first player we will remember will be Gary David. I have no effin doubt about it. Ten years from now, I'll surely remember him as this season's MVP. RR

Robi Raya is the man behind the Bekshoot basketball blog. He is also writes for SLAM Philippines. 


  1. How much happened?

  2. Eh pano swapang si gary d.. Hndi man lng nmmsa.. Gusto lge sknya ang bola.. Kya nga basketaball ay teamwork.. Si caguioa hnd lng umiiskor. He also grabs rebound. Nag aassists umisteal. In that department wala masyado naitutulong si david.. Puro tira lng ang alam..kaya laging bagsak ang team nya!!!

  3. tama! Kung titignan ang percentage n G.David vs MC47, di hamak na mas mataas ang % n MC47, and what if gawin dn n mc47 ung tira ng tira gaya n g.david? Malamang s malamang iiskor dn c mc47 ng 20pts per game! Thats a fact!

  4. No doubt Gary is the BEST player of this season..he's also the MOST VALUABLE player kc kung iisipin nyo Powerade couldn't win without Gary while Bmeg and Ginebra can win games without Yap and Caguioa kc maraming supporting cast sila..mga all-star team kc..try nyo isa sa kay Mark n Yap ilagay sa Pow ewan ko lng kung madala nila Pow sa Finals ng philippine cup.. Kung nagkaroon lng ng back-up si Gary ng tulad nila Kerby, Cortez, Hatfield, Canaleta o kaya Simon, Yancee, DeVance, Pingris malamang sa malamang humakot ng Championship at MVP awards si Gary...

  5. waaaaa ;) cge . pagpalitin mo un player nan pow sa bgk iwan si gary , iwan si mark ;) malakas lineup pow dud

    1. Agree.. Kht gnyan line up ng bgk is caguioa Lang pa din ang maasahan mo..

  6. Caguioa more than deserves the trophy , with or without he always been an MVP caliber. 5x na dapat xa MVP. Saan xa lgi talo it's either media votes or hndi nkkadating bgk s finals. As individual performance passion,drive,hardwork ni mc47 inilaban Nya ang bgk din.Caguioa is a big factor sa bgk kita nyo nman. He is the heart & soul of brgy. Gary David is all about scoring. He is a great player and deserves the MVP title as well but this season Caguioa more than deserves it .


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