Top 10 Greatest PBA Players of all Time: Nelson Asaytono included

Who are the Top 10 greatest PBA players of all time? In a long history of Philippine basketball, there are numbers of players throughout the archipelago who became household names. Some created the long impression that etched in the minds of the fans. Others cemented themselves as the best in the league and can be remembered forever. With the vast players who played in the PBA, it would be difficult to rank the players and to place them on the top 10 list of this website.

Absolutely, it would be difficult to select the top 10 greatest PBA players of all time without criteria. Even the PBA itself entered into controversy when it selected the top 40 best players of all time. In the PBA’s criteria, anyone who won an MVP was secured of a slot, denying few players who were supposed to be there but never won an MVP. Furthermore, the PBA included players who were still playing.

We can consider career stats, championship won, longevity and being part of the national team as some of our criterias in selection

Here’s our Top 10 Greatest PBA Players of All Time

10. Jimmy Alapag

Jimmy Alapag is considered the best shooting point guard the PBA had. Alapag made 1,250 three-point field goals just before he retired. His name will always be remembered for this accomplishment. However, Alapag’s ouside shooting was not only the reason that makes him one of the best.

Alapag was called “The Mighty Mouse” and “The Captain” through out his career because of his leadership and his impact on the game. Alapag averaged 12.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 601 games. Alapag played for 13 years in the PBA. Truly, Alapag’s ability to be part of championship teams revealed his worth.

Career Accomplishments:

PBA Most Valuable Player (2011)
6× PBA champion
11× PBA All-Star (2003–2011, 2014, 2015)
PBA 3-point all-time leading scorer
2× PBA Finals MVP (2011 Philippine, 2011 Commissioner’s)
PBA Best Player of the Conference (2011 Commissioner’s)

PBA All-Star Game MVP (2004)
3× PBA Mythical First Team (2003, 2005, 2011)
PBA Order of Merit (2010)
PBA Rookie of the Year (2003)
PBA 3-Point Shootout Champion (2003)


9. Nelson Asaytono

Nelson Asaytono will always be remembered for his dominance in driving to the basket. Asaytono never won a MVP award but his 1992 and 1997 seasons were huge. It was just that Asaytono fall from grace from the eyes of the MVP voters. Asaytono averaged 15.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in his career in 820 games played.

Career Accomplishments:

6-Time PBA Champion
5th in the PBA all-time scoring list with 12,268 total points in 796
3× PBA Mythical First Team (1992, 1993, 1997)
4× PBA Mythical Second Team (1994–1996, 1998)
2× PBA Best Player of the Conference (1997 All-Filipino Cup, 1998 All Filipino Cup)
10× PBA All-Star (1989–1993, 1995–1999)


8. Allan Caidic

He was most feared from outside the arc. Caidic was known as the best PBA shooter of all time and was leading the PBA’s three-point field goals made until Alapag broke it. Caidic scored the most points in a single game with 79 points and the most three-pointers in a single game with 17. Caidic still holds the most consecutive free-throws made with 76. The “Triggerman” averaged 19.6 points per game in 47.2 percent shooting. In the international play, Caidic was marked by the opposing teams.

Career Accomplishments:

Most Valuable Player (1990)
5-Time PBA Champion
Rookie of the Year (1987)
Three-Point Shootout Champion (1992)
All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (1993)
2x Mythical Second Team (1993, 1994)
Governor’s Cup Best Player of the Conference (1995)
6x Mythical First Team (1987–1991, 1995)
7x PBA All-Star (1989–1995)
2x Asian Games Basketball Mythical Five Selection

7. Benjie Paras

The entrance of Benjie Paras to the PBA brought forth new atmophere of competition. Indeed, a real center that would be able to challenge the bigs who were dominating the NBA at that time. Given the monicker as “The Tower of Power” because of his dominance in both offense and defense, Paras lived up to the expectations of many. He is the only player to win both the MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season. Paras averaged 17.92 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.30 blocks in 574 games.

Career Accomplishments:

Only PBA Player to win the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year at the same time
2x PBA MVP (1989, 1999)
PBA Rookie of the Year (1989)
PBA Comeback Player of the Year (1999)
5x PBA Mythical First Team (1989–1991, 1995, 1999)
3x PBA Mythical Second Team (1992, 1994, 1996)
PBA All-Star (1989–1992, 1994–1999)
PBA All-Star Most Valuable Player (1994, 1999)

6. Johnny Abarrientos

Johnny Abarrientos entered the PBA with so much expected from him. Thus, Abarrientos introduced himself through his offensive juggernaut as well as finding the open man. Abarrientos averaged 16.7 points and 8.6 assists per game. Aside from being effective in the offense that brought his team 12 championships, Abarrientos was not a liability defensively, winning All Defensive Five five times. As a matter of fact, Abarrientos is an All Time leader in steals with 1,302.

Career Accomplishments:

1996 PBA Most Valuable Player
12-Time PBA Champion
PBA All-Star (1994–2001)
PBA All Time Leaders in Steals (1,302)
6x PBA Mythical First Team (1994–1999)
5x PBA All-Defensive Team (1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004–05)
2x PBA Governor’s Cup Finals Most Valuable Player (1996, 1997)
1997 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Best Player of the Conference

5. Asi Taulava

As league dominated by mostly big men, Asi Taulava came into the scene as one of the new faces. In his rookie season, Taulava’s inside presence was felt by averaging double-double. In the 536 games Taulava has played, he averaged 15.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. Consistency throughout the years has marked Taulava’s career. He is the only double-double in the list

Career Accomplishments:

PBA Most Valuable Player (2003)
PBA Finals Most Valuable Player (2003 Reinforced)
15× PBA All-Star (1999, 2001, 2003–2012, 2014–2017)
2× PBA All-Star Game MVP (2004, 2006)
4× PBA Mythical First Team (2003, 2008, 2009, 2014)
4× PBA Mythical Second Team (2002, 2010, 2015, 2016)
PBA Best Player of the Conference (2003 All-Filipino)
3× PBA All-Defensive Team (2003, 2008, 2009)
PBA Comeback Player of the Year (2014)

4. Alvin Patrimonio

Alvin Patrimonio was the face of the PBA for a decade after those pioneer big men were about to retire. Patriomonio’s impact in the game was felt immediately in his rookie season with young teammates. For long years, Patrimonio was the No. 1 at the power forward position. He holds the current record of 596 most consecutive games played and third most points in PBA’s history. During his peak years, nobody could defend Patrimonio at the post. Patriomonio averaged 17.6 points and 17.6 rebounds in 857 games played.

4x PBA Most Valuable Player (1991, 1993–1994, 1997)
10x PBA Mythical First Team (1989–1994, 1996–1998)
5x PBA Champion
3x PBA Best Player of the Conference (1994 Commissioner’s Cup, 1996 All-Filipino Cup, 1997 Governors’ Cup)
PBA Press Corps Newsmaker of the Year (1993)
PBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (1991)
12x PBA All-Star (1989-1993, 1995-2001)

3. Abet Guidaben

Abet Guidaben was one of the first real big men in the PBA. His longevity in the game, playing 20 years, could be attributed to his skills and dominance in the game. Guidaben won numbers of championships including two grandslams. Without a doubt, Guidaben is always part of the PBA’s big men. He averaged 14.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

Career Accomplishments:

2× PBA Most Valuable Player (1983, 1987)
15x PBA Champion
No. 2 all-time leading scorer with 15,775 points
No. 2 all-time in total rebounds with 8,570
No. 1 in offensive rebounds with 2,373
No. 1 in games played with 1,081
5× PBA Mythical First Team (1983–1985, 1987, 1988)
3× PBA All-Star

2. Robert Jaworski

Robert Sonny Jaworski showed to the Filipinos that basketball is not only for big men. Jaworski displayed his rebounding ability despite his height. His stringent defense was well-known throughout the country. Jaworski made basketball more entertaining through his artistic assists and powerful rebounds. He won the Filipino crowd in the basketball court. In more than two decades, Jaworski paved the way for others to be a multi-dimensional players. Jaworski averaged 12.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists in 958 games. Jaworski also played and coached at the same time in the PBA.

Career Accomplishments:

Most Valuable Player in 1978
Holds PBA record of assists with 5,825
Mythical First Team Selection in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1986
Mythical Second Team Selection in 1985 and 1988
All Defensive Team in 1985 and 1988
Four time PBA All-Star
Won four championship as a playing coach

1. Ramon Fernandez

Ramon Fernandez is popularly known for his “elegant shot” in which it was difficult for the defender to defend. Fernandez’s monicker in his playing days was “El Presidente”. His durability, longevity and overall career accomplishments make him the greatest player in the history of the PBA. Though he won four MVPs, those were captured in four different teams. He still holds many of PBA records like rebounds (8,652), blocks (1,853) and minutes played (36,624). Fernandez averaged 17.69 points, 8.06 rebounds, 4.86 assists and 1.73 blocks per game.

Career Accomplishments:

4x PBA Most Valuable Player (1982, 1984, 1986, 1988)
6x PBA All-Star (1989–1994)
13x PBA Mythical First Team (1976–1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992)
3x PBA Mythical Second Team (1985, 1987, 1990)
19x PBA champion

Noteworthy of mentioning:

Samboy Lim, Hector Calma,  James Yap, Vergel Meneses, Ato Agustin, Bernie Fabioza, Atoy Co
Yoyoy Villamin, Eric Menk, Danny Seigle, Kenneth Duremdes, June Mar Fajardo,

Garry's passion writing never ends in his own blogs. His contribution in PhilSportsNews enhances the websites ability to reach to the readers.