Top 5 Lefties in the history of PBA
By Mark Patriarca
“Basta kaliwete, shooter!” – that’s the common belief in the basketball realm where most of southpaws are dead-shot within the perimeter or three-point range.
And in celebration of the National Left Handers Day days ago, we list down the best left-handed players who graced the PBA court and made their mark in the league as a staple name for their respective squads.
5. Joe Devance
Sure, JDV won’t leave you gasping for air with his simple, fundamental moves inside or outside the shaded lane, but he is one of the most intelligent forwards that has seen action in the PBA. Being paired with the greatest mind in the association, coach Tim Cone, who was his coach since 2008 up till now, the duo wrecked havoc and bagged nine championships in three different teams (Alaska, B-Meg/Star/Purefoods, Ginebra). At age 36, Joe is still a viable option for Ginebra and is a key figure to their team chemistry.
4. Jeff Chan
Someone who is called the second coming of ‘The Triggerman’ will definitely have a place on this list. The Ginebra gunner was probably the best three-point specialist for Gilas since the program started. Even if his shots aren’t falling, his great reputation as a sharpshooter will always be included in opposing coaches defensive plan and will always leave a man to defend him to prevent a hot-shooting night.
3. Alex Cabagnot
It’s hard to excel in a uber stacked team like San Miguel Beermen, but Alex Cabagnot is doing wonders as the their primary playmaker or scorer depending on the situation. Known for his clutch heroics and level headed plays most of the time, ‘The Crunch Man’ has been stellar in his 13 years in the league. He nabbed seven championships, all with San Miguel franchise, and a six-time PBA All-Star and averaged double-digit scoring in all but one of his seasons in the association.
2. Willie Miller
Back in his heydays, Willie ‘The Thriller’ Miller was the one of the most prolific scorer in the league. His comical personality on and off the court can suddenly shift into a intimidating and unnerving aura once the game is on the line that is famously called “Miller Time’. In terms of accomplishments, the 41-year old cager is the only two-time regular season MVP in this list, plus a four-time PBA champion, two-time Best Player of the Conference, and belongs to the upper echelon of the 40 Greatest PBA players.
1. Allan Caidic
This one doesn’t need any further explanation, but just for a refresher, here is the list of ‘The Trigger Man’ PBA feats that would take decades, or even centuries, to achieve by any player in the league. He currently holds the most points scored in a single game (79 points), most three-pointers in a single game (17 triples eclipsing his previous best 15), most consecutive free throws made (76) and the second most three-points made in the history of the PBA (1,242) behind former Gilas captain Jimmy Alapag with 1,250 threes made.
Aside from that, Caidic’s legacy is unrivaled from other PBA pure sharpshooters. His jersey number 8 is retired on two teams, Ginebra and San Miguel. The Asian basketball circuit recognized his talents as one the best scorers in the league bagging two Asian Games mythical five, and a PBA 2009 Hall of Fame inductee as a recognition for his stellar basketball career, both local and international.