Untapped potential: PBA players who should be given more exposure

Handling playing time and figuring out the proper player rotations is an unenviable task for all coaches.

But with a lot of games left in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup, it is imperative that coaches would at least give these players a chance to show their wares on the hard court.  FOX Sports PH takes a look on some of the players who should be given more exposure by adding on to their current playing time.

Carl Bryan Cruz (Alaska Aces)

This is probably one of the most baffling cases. Gilas stalwart Carl Bryan Cruz has not played a single minute in this conference. The sweet-shooting forward has shown flashes of his potential in the Philippine Cup, including a 16-point game against Kia Picanto, and has averaged 39-percent shooting from deep. He could be a reliable stretch forward, which would be a welcome addition for the Aces’ offense.

Davon Potts (Alaska Aces)

Former San Beda standout Davon Potts has a lot left to prove in the league since his draft stock dropped all the way to the second round. He is a capable shot maker who could provide additional offensive firepower, especially for the Aces’ second unit. Right now, he is jockeying for playing time against the likes of Jeron Teng, Kevin Racal, and Simon Enciso.

Prince Caperal (Barangay Ginebra)

The former Arellano Chief has shown glimpses of excellence, especially when he played meaningful minutes at the four and five position for the Gin Kings last Philippine Cup. He has a decent outside shot and is a serviceable big that could bolster Ginebra’s front line for the long run.

Joseph Gabayni (GlobalPort Batang Pier)

Moala Tautuaa’s arrival may cut down his playing minutes but Coach Pido Jarencio was able to eke out helpful minutes from him when’s he put out there on the floor for the Batang Pier. Last conference, he was able to average 3.6 rebounds and shot efficiently at a 53-percent clip, despite playing only around 10 minutes per ball game. He would be competing for minutes as a backup big against guys like Kelly Nabong and Bradwyn Guinto.

Robbie Herndon (Magnolia Hotshots)

Selected as the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft, Herndon has showed promise as a knockdown shooter for the Magnolia Hotshots. In their lone win in last conference’s Finals, his shooting sparked a comeback by scoring eight points via outside shots. However, he will have to earn his keep in a deep back court rotation against Mark Barroca, Paul Lee, Jio Jalalon, Justin Melton, and Peter June Simon.

Mike Tolomia (Meralco Bolts)

When the Bolts traded for Mike Tolomia last year, they expected him to form a dangerous back court tandem with Baser Amer. Three games in this Commissioner’s Cup, he has adjusted well by averaging 6.3 points per game on around 10 minutes of playing time. With Meralco heavily invested on their youth movement, expect those minutes to be on an upward trajectory.

Von Pessumal (San Miguel Beermen)

Even if the Beermen are dubbed as the perennial favorites to win it all, there’s still room for improvement especially for their second unit. Here’s when a guy like Von Pessumal comes in- a 6’3” shooting guard who could knock down outside shots and has the tools to be effective on the defensive end. The former Atenean and Gilas cadet could provide relief for veterans in Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross, and Marcio Lassiter. It would be wise for Leo Austria to look to further hone his skills by giving him more opportunities on the court.

 

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