JdV, Manuel among the best PBA journeymen today

More often than not, we commemorate players whose careers are mostly spent with one or two teams.

But not everyone enjoys the same fate.

Whatever circumstances that may be, most would have to adjust and continue to find a new home in order to stay in the league.

Here at FOX Sports PH, we look at some of the league’s best journeymen, the ones who provide stability and veteran leadership across every stop while playing their roles well for their respective teams:

Nino Canaleta

Currently playing for: Meralco Bolts

Nino “KG” Canaleta burst into the scene as one of the league’s young upstarts back in 2005, making it to the PBA All-Rookie Team. Known initially for his hops, Canaleta brought his aerial artistry in the league’s dunk contest by winning it five times. However, despite the promising start, he bounced around nine teams including multiple stints for the Air 21 franchise and was part of the B-Meg Derby Ace squad that won the Philippine Cup crown in 2010. He was dubbed as Mr. Quality Minutes in 2010 and also won the Most Improved Player Award in 2013. Now, with his athleticism waning, he has developed a reliable outside shot which is a welcome addition to offenses, making him an useful second or third option.

Aldrech Ramos

Currently playing for: Magnolia Hotshots

By the time he was drafted back in the 2012 PBA Draft, the former FEU Tamaraw was promptly traded away to B-Meg for Sean Anthony and that year’s 12th overall pick, which turned out to be Dave Marcelo. At 6’6”, Ramos primarily plays the power forward position, providing length and decent outside shooting to stretch the opponent’s defense. So far, Ramos won his lone title in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup with the Alaska Aces and has suited up for four different teams.

Vic Manuel

Currently playing for: Alaska Aces

Known as the “Muscle Man”, Vic Manuel brings his tenacity and hustle by playing with brute force night after night. The pride of Nueva Ecija was drafted ninth overall by the GlobalPort Batang Pier but was subsequently traded to the Meralco Bolts. After struggling to find a home for his first few years in the PBA, the Alaska Aces took a chance on him and he thrived off his role initially as a reliever for older guys like Sony Thoss and Eric Menk. With him coming back from injuries, he would be tasked to anchor the Aces’ second unit.

Gabby Espinas

Currently playing for: San Miguel Beermen

After successful stints in PCU and in the now-defunct PBL, Gabby Espinas was drafted fifth overall by the San Miguel franchise in 2006 to bolster their big man rotation. However, with his rookie contract back then, he was often seen as a viable trade asset and he bounced around multiple teams such as Air 21, Barako Bull, Sta. Lucia, Meralco Bolts, Alaska Aces, and GlobalPort. The leftie bruiser now plays a reserve role for the formidable San Miguel Beermen, where he won numerous titles.

Joe DeVance

Currently playing for: Ginebra Gin Kings

Sweet shooting big Joe DeVance was the first overall pick by the Rain or Shine franchise back in 2007, in hopes to hasten the team’s expansion progress in the PBA. After playing one season under the team, he was traded to the Alaska Aces for Solomon Mercado, due to their aging frontline. With Tim Cone at the coaching helm, DeVance never left by his side ever since, following him from Alaska, to the Purefoods franchise, and now to Ginebra, winning titles along the way. For DeVance, Tim Cone always feels like home to him.

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