2. Benjie Paras
When Paras entered the PBA as a 20-year-old rookie in 1989, the league had never seen anyone quite like him. He would block a shot in mid-air, grab the rebound, dribble the ball up the court, and finish with a rim-rattling dunk. He wasn’t a mere player; he was a force of nature.
He was rewarded by making history as the only rookie to ever win MVP honors.
Paras looked just about ready to take over the PBA. Over the next three seasons, he led Shell to two titles in three championship appearances. But then injuries creeped in, and the lure of showbiz had his mind focused on something other than basketball.
But he regained his focus in time in the late ’90s to put together one of the finest seasons in league history in 1999. With the league in the midst of the Fil-Am invasion, Paras led Shell to its first All-Filipino title, winning his second MVP award — ten years after he first made history.
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