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2019 PBA rookies and their ‘play-alikes’


Miles Morales

A new PBA season means a new set of rookies who will try to go against some of the league’s best talents. This 44th season, young, explosive and athletic guards lead the pack of the 41 new draftees. To get a feel of what these young guns have to offer, one good indicator is to compare them to their respective “play-alikes” in the pro ranks. Here are the comparison of PBA’s top rookies and their counterparts:

CJ Perez: Calvin Abueva

In terms of length, height and versatility, this year’s 1st draft pick CJ Perez and Calvin Albueva are like mirror images of each other. Both standing at 6’1″, Perez and Abueva play with tremendous energy especially in open court situations.

The two players also rely heavily on their athleticism and creativity as they have problems with consistently hitting jumpers. Though Abueva plays the small and power forward positions, Perez is more adept in playing multiple guard positions.

Bobby Ray Parks: Gabe Norwood

Gabe Norwood, a former number one pick in the PBA, has established a reputation as the national team’s go-to defensive stopper in international tournaments. The 33-year-old from George Mason University stands at 6-foot-5 with the ability to handle, pass and shoot.

Booby Ray Parks, a former two-time UAAP MVP, is 6-foot-4 and has the same exact capabilities.

Norwood and Parks almost have the same frame and even plays the same position. Both of them can play play the point and can even extend themselves up to the power forward position if necessary. Given their length, the two can also play hard-nose defense.

While Norwood is more of a role player, Parks, meanwhile, can takeover a team’s offensive thrust given his vast UAAP, ABL and Gilas experiences.

Robert Bolick: Paul Lee

This year’s 3rd pick Robert Bolick is a very lethal combo guard, just like Paul Lee who is already more seasoned and has more moves in his arsenal. Both players do not rely on speed and athleticism, they bank of their craftiness and outside shooting to hurt the opponents.

Throughout his PBA career, Lee has been known not in his ability to score bunches on a nightly basis but on his mastery of knocking down shots when it matters. That’s what Bolick showed when he led the San Beda Red Lions to three NCAA championships.

Paul Desiderio: PJ Simon

Though PJ Simon has better handles, especially in his prime, Paul Desiderio is quicker on his feet. Both players are clutch performers and gifted scorers. They also have deadly mid-range game that can be extended as far as the three point line.

Desiderio and Simon, though undersize in their position, can also post up smaller guards, and both play with a lot of grit and pride.

Trevis Jackson: Alex Cabagnot

Trevis Jackson and Alex Cabagnot have a lot of similarities. Both guys are lefty, almost the same height, can slash to the basket, and can stop on a dime and pull up for a jumper off a pick-and-roll. While Cabagnot is a dead-shot from beyond the arc, Jackson is more dynamic when it comes to his scoring and ball-handling skills.

Jackson is quicker and peskier defender than Cabagnot. But if the Sacramento native wishes to replicate Cabagnot’s PBA success, he needs to hit big baskets, and even game-winners.