Just like in professional wrestling, there are characters who pose as faces and heels — making story lines more colorful and interesting.
While there are players often being admired by fans, there are also ones who would they criticize with much vitriol whenever they pull off questionable antics.
Today, we look at some of the league’s top ‘villains’ today.
A big part of Belga’s growth as a professional player is with him being one-half of the Extra Rice Inc. instituted by then-coach Yeng Guiao for Rain or Shine. Along with JR Quinahan, Belga would always find ways to irk his counterparts with brute force and physicality. Because of this, he would mostly find himself on the receiving end of boos from the fans of the opposing team – in which he relishes.
Known as one of the league’s grittiest enforcers, the former San Sebastian standout is no longer stranger to altercations, making him either a great teammate or a fearsome opponent. He would often get assigned to guard some of the league’s best players and would do so by playing mind games and tricks to slow them down. “The Beast” may not be the most polished offensively, but his toughness and hustle provides a lot of value for the Alaska Aces.
From his Spiderman dunks to his crowd taunting, Arwind Santos is probably one of the most disliked players right now – especially with their ongoing finals series against the league’s most popular ballclub in Ginebra. His candid comments and aggressiveness on both ends have garnered for himself an endless amount of jeers every time he touches the ball. But more than anything, his acceptance of the villain role may be one of the low key reasons as to why the Beermen has been quite successful in recent years.
Another Beerman makes the list in Chris Ross — who has been making a living off of being a pesky defender at the guard position for San Miguel. His tenacity on the defensive end is good and all, but it may sometimes rub off some the wrong way, especially when he adds some trash talk to it. After struggling to find a home in the PBA in his early years, Ross has been an integral part for San Miguel, earning for himself six titles.
Nowhere being known as mild-mannered, slotman Kelly Nabong has been always known as an emotional, strong personality for all his time in the PBA. To make up for his height disadvantage, he would often use his smarts and wide frame to be physical against much-taller opponents. From his high knee attempt at Marc Pingris and verbal altercations before with Beermen, it is curious as to why San Miguel took a chance on him in a midseason trade. So far, however, him being part of the Beermen has paid dividends as he has contributed well off the bench en route to their trip to the Finals.