With the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup already in the books, let’s take a look at the players who ranked high in each advanced stats category, starting with Offensive Rebounding Percentage (OREB%).
(Advanced stats are from Stats by Ryan on DribbleMedia.com, an advanced stats and metrics platform for Philippine basketball.)
Dominating the offensive boards gives a team two immediate advantages — a second or third crack at putting the ball through the hoop, and the ability to set up their defense at the other end of the floor and prevent their opponents from scoring in transition.
That’s the reason why teams give utmost value to high-energy players who hustle through every offensive rebound opportunity, even though they don’t have the smoothest of skills in terms of scoring the ball. We saw how Cliff Hodge of Meralco — a power forward who doesn’t have a go-to-move at the post or a decent outside shot — makes a living out of punishing teams with his work on the offensive glass.
As we look back at the most efficient offensive rebounders in the recent conference, it’s important not to totally rely on raw rebound averages. It could be misleading because a player who logs fewer minutes on the floor will certainly have fewer rebound totals, not to mention that those averages could also depend on the pace that a team plays at. To truly gauge a player’s offensive rebounding ability, an advanced metric called offensive rebounding percentage (OREB%) is more reliable. Per Stats by Ryan, an advanced stats platform for Philippine basketball, OREB% is the “estimate of the amount of offensive rebounds a player grabs out of all possible offensive rebounding opportunities when he’s on the floor.”
Having said that, let’s take a look at the top offensive rebounders during the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
(Note: Only players who averaged at least 15 minutes per game and played at least six games are qualified to be in this list.)
10. Leonard Santillan, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters
Santillan struggled a bit during the first few games of his debut conference in the PBA, but he was able to pick it up and even became the Elasto Painters’ top scoring option during some games. Along with the intriguing promise of his inside-outside offense, the rookie also showed his potential as a high-level rebounder. Santillan averaged only 17.4 minutes for Rain or Shine, but he made the most out of it by hauling in 4.8 rebounds, including 1.8 offensive boards. He led his team — and all rookies — not just in offensive rebounding percentage, but also in total rebounding percentage (TREB%).
These are not mind-blowing averages, but the numbers will surely increase for Santillan if he gets more playing time next conference.
9. Greg Slaughter, NorthPort Batang Pier
Despite his relatively low place in this list, Slaughter still ranked third in the league in terms of raw rebound averages (10.8) and raw offensive rebound numbers (3.5). With his 6-foot-11 frame, Slaughter doesn’t have to spend so much energy on grabbing a lot of boards — he just needs to get close to the rim and let his towering presence do its work. Of course, that’s easier said than done as he still has to impose his strength, but his sheer superior height over the smaller PBA centers gives him an immediate advantage.
8. Scottie Thompson, Barangay Ginebra
At 6-foot-1, Thompson remains as one of the most unique rebounders that the league has ever seen. Along with his rare gift of almost always knowing where the ball will land after a missed shot, his combination of agility and athleticism makes it difficult for his opponents to find his body and box him out.
Thompson, who just turned 28 years of age last July, also put up what could be his career-best conference so far. Aside from his brilliance on the boards, the Ginebra star guard was also one of the three players who averaged at least one steal and one block last conference.
7. Cliff Hodge, Meralco Bolts
When starting center Raymond Almazan went down with an ankle sprain that deemed him unavailable in Game 3 of Meralco’s semifinals series against Magnolia, Hodge became the de facto man-at-the-middle for his team. Meralco whipped out a small-ball lineup with Hodge at the center position and then won that game by five points. Hodge only scored seven points during that win, but he had a game-high 12 rebounds, with six of those coming from the offensive boards.
That game encapsulated Hodge’s value to the Bolts — a high-energy combo big who packs an unlimited supply of hustle every game.
6. Rodney Brondial, Alaska Aces
In a disappointing campaign that saw them compile a lowly 3-8 record and miss the playoffs, Alaska found a silver lining in the play of their big men. Yousef Taha and Abu Tratter put up career-best performances, but Rodney Brondial’s work should not go unnoticed. In just 24.7 minutes per contest, Brondial produced a near double-double stat line of 8.3 points and 8.5 rebounds. These are also career-high numbers for Brondial, and there’s no doubt that Alaska’s focus on developing their big men is boding well for the 30-year-old power forward.
5. Marion Magat, Blackwater Bossing
It’s quite surprising that the 6-foot-6 Magat only logged 16.8 minutes last conference, especially considering that he plays for a Blackwater squad that has Kelly Nabong as their top frontcourt player. But even in those limited minutes, Magat led his team in total rebounding percentage with 13.2%, while also ranking fifth in the league in offensive rebounding percentage.
Magat, who also placed 5th among all players in block percentage (5.7%), should see more playing time next conference.
4. Raymond Almazan, Meralco Bolts
With two of their players included in this list, it’s not a surprise that the Bolts were the best team last conference in terms of offensive rebounding percentage (33.9%). Almazan, with his lengthy frame and excellent reach, was Meralco’s most efficient rebounder across all three categories (TREB%, DREB%, OREB%). Almazan was an enormous presence for Meralco not just with his rebounding prowess, but also with his defense — as evidenced by his league-best 6.61% block rate.
3. June Mar Fajardo, San Miguel
Despite not putting up his usual scoring numbers during the eliminations and in the first few games of the playoffs, Fajardo continued to dominate the rebounding battle all throughout the All-Filipino conference. Along with his exceptional work on the offensive glass, the six-time Most Valuable Player actually led all players in TREB% with 17.25%, establishing himself as the league’s best rebounder.
2. Joseph Gabayni, Terrafirma Dyip
Gabayni was one of the “discards” that fulfilled huge roles for Terrafirma last conference. A relatively unknown name for much of his playing career since being picked in the second round of the 2017 PBA Draft, Gabayni gave Terrafirma a much-needed inside presence and toughness on both ends of the floor as he produced the best conference in his career so far.
Along with compiling several double-digit scoring games, Gabayni was also a monster on the offensive boards when he’s on the floor. He may be undersized at 6-foot-5, but he is relentless at attacking the glass, giving Terrafirma a lot of second-chance points opportunities.
1. Raul Soyud, NLEX Road Warriors
Soyud took a step back in terms of scoring — from 10.0 points during the 2020 Philippine Cup to only 7.3 last conference — but his rebounding remained as excellent as it was.
|2020 PH Cup||18.17% (1st)||15.72% (1st)|
|2021 PH Cup||17.14% (2nd)||17.32% (1st)|
This isn’t a fluke anymore — as many people thought when Soyud hauled in a high rate of rebounds last year. Just like Gabayni, the 6-foot-6 Soyud is undersized at the center position but he is wide-bodied and has great instincts in following the trajectory of the ball and knowing which direction it will bounce out. Soyud’s Per 36 Minutes averages of 12.6 rebounds, including 6.5 offensive boards, just tell us how many rebounding opportunities he takes advantage of when he’s on the court.
Advanced Stats are now available for Philippine basketball! Through Ryan Alba’s ‘Stats by Ryan’, you can now look at team and player advanced stats for the current 2021 PBA Philippine Cup (and the previous three seasons) via the Dribble Media website.
Check out this glossary for a list of the basketball advanced stats terminologies.
You can also contact Ryan via his Twitter handle (@_alba__).