Wednesday, January 15, 2014

PBA Stats: Buckets Beyond the Arc, As of January 14, 2014

Yesterday, I dug into the PBA score sheets and gathered more information about the league's premier snipers. What I found out were not entirely out of this world. There were several interesting bits though.

Niño Canaleta of Air21 Express
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Niño Canaleta of Air21 Express leads the league in terms of three-point attempts. He currently has 97. He also leads the league in threes made, which currently stands at 30. But at 10 losses and only 3 wins, Canaleta's efforts seem to be insufficient. He has 30.93% three-point field goal percentage, which is NOT one of the top-five in the league (his teammate Joseph Yeo has a better rate at 34.38% which, incidentally, is the best in Air21 Express). He takes a shot from rainbow territory once every 5.03 minutes, or 7.46 attempts per 37.54-minute outing. Each game, he nails a three about 2.31 times. In short, this guy just throws the rock everywhere, and for good reason. His team needs him to score more.

Top 5 Snipers

Unlike Canaleta, snipers are meant to do just what they are meant to do -- score, not from just about anywhere but from beyond the arc. So who are the top-five three pointers in the league (purely in terms of 3FG%) as of this moment? Jaypee Belencion of Globalport leads the pack at 47.62% (10-of-21). Interestingly, Chris Exciminiano of Alaska takes the second spot at 46.67% while Mac Baracael of Ginebra follows with 45.83%. It's interesting because Exciminiano only launched 15 attempts (lowest 3FGA in the top 5, and only 6th in Alaska) and drained 7 of them in 9 of Alaska's 13 games. On the other hand, Baracael tried 48 times (almost thrice more than Exciminiano's, and Baracael's 3FGA is 2nd in Ginebra) in all 12 games and was successful 22 times.

To continue with the rankings: Ranidel de Ocampo of Talk 'N Text is fourth with 44.90% (22-of-49) while Jeff Chan of Rain or Shine closely trails at the fifth spot with 44.62% (29-of-65). Runners-up: for sixth place, Jayson Castro, also from Talk 'N Text, boasts a stat line of 42.86% (24-of-56). Also up for honorable-mention (or seventh in the ranks) is Petron's Alex Cabagnot with 41.38% (12-of-29).

[In making the list, players need to have made at least 10 field goal attempts and have played for at least half of their team's number of games. Otherwise, Ryan Buenafe easily grabs the top spot at 66.67% with his total of 4-of-6 three pointers in 5 of Alaska's 13 games. Those are not the stats of a real-deal sniper (yet) if you ask me.]

Eager Beavers, or Out to Kill

There are players who are either purposely sent by their coach on the hardwood to fire triples or are simply looking forward to a shot from beyond the arc. At any rate, let's just call them eager beavers. To find the eager beaver, the formula is this: total minutes played divided by total 3FGA. Again, the premise is that the player must have launched at least 10 attempts from downtown after playing for at least half of their team's total number of games. Here are the top five of them:

#1 Val Acuna (San Mig Super Coffee Mixers) - Acuna lets a triple fly every 2.47 minutes. Sadly, he only averages 23.53% from beyond the arc (4-of-17). To be fair, he attempts 2.83 times for every 7 minutes that he is on the floor per game. Perhaps Tim Cone should make him play more minutes?

#2 Ronjay Buenafe (Barako Bull) - Every 3.7 minutes, Buenafe tries a three. So far, he's at 29.69 3FG% (19-of-64) for every 18.23 minutes that he plays per game. And each outing, he launches at least 4.9 and drains 1.46 of them. His 3FG% is still far from legit sniper standards though.

#3 Mark Macapagal (Barako Bull) - At 29.73 3FG% (11-of-37), Macapagal launches a triple every 4.11 minutes. That's 1.1 threes made every 3.7 tries within 15.2 minutes that he's on the floor each night. He's the second eager "Bull". (There's one more...)

#4 Sunday Salvacion (Meralco Bolts) - Can Salvacion save Meralco from further sliding in the rankings (and not necessarily on a Sunday)? Well, his attempt of a triple ever 4.13 minutes may do so, except that he has to improve his average of 28.89 3FG% (13-of-45) for every 18.6 minutes that he suits up for Meralco.

#5 Paul Lee (Rain or Shine) - Lee has played in every Rain or Shine game so far. He plays 25.33 minutes per game. With an average of 37.5 3FG% (27-of-72) from rainbow territory, he lets the rock fly from beyond the arc once every 4.22 minutes. Which means he can technically (and quite possibly) try 6 triples in a single night and drain at least 2 of them.

Runners-up - Mick Pennisi (Barako Bull again, three of them eager beavers in one team!) with 1 3FGA per 4.33 minutes at 36.34 3FG% (25-of-69). Jimmy Alapag (Talk 'N Text) trails with his 1 3FGA per 4.52 minutes at 19.67 3FG% (13-of-66). Alapag plays 29 minutes per game while Pennisi burns 23 minutes.

Expect Them

Unlike the eager beavers, the snipers in this group are almost certain to fire a given number of triples per game. They're quite like the expected ones. The formula is this: for each player, divide the total number of 3FG made with the total games played. Ranking them all, we have the top 5.

#1 Ranidel de Ocampo (Talk 'N Text) - he will successfully shoot 2.44 three-pointers per game where he plays 30.11 minutes on average.

#2 Jeff Chan (Rain or Shine) - he'll drain 2.42 treys per 24.67-minute outing.

#3 Niño Canaleta (Air21 Express) - he'll score 2.31 triples every 37.53 minutes that he is on court.

#4 Paul Lee (Rain or Shine) - look forward to Lee dropping 2.25 threes right on the money per 25.33 minutes outing.

#5 Gary David (Meralco) - per 34.58 minutes each game, expect David to nail 2.08 threes.

Runner-up: Jayson Castro with 2 triples per 32.17 minutes he's playing. Alas, he's the last in the list to have an average that's not less than 2. Castro's right on the dot, or cut-off. All the others have 1.9 or lower (or way lower) stats.

Final thoughts

That's about if. For now. I'll post an updated list for PBA buckets beyond the arc in the coming days, hopefully by the end of the eliminations and before the start of the semifinals. Be sure to subscribe to this blog for the updates, or at least post your thoughts in the comments section below.

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