Ageless through the years
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - October 20, 2020 - 12:00am

In the NBA, there have been 30 players who saw action when they were over 40, including Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Dirk Nowitzki, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash. The oldest player ever to take to the floor in the NBA was Nat Hickey who was two days short of 46 when he suited up in 1947-48. Kevin Willis was 44, Robert Parish and Vince Carter 43 and Dikembe Mutombo and Abdul-Jabbar 42 when they played their last game.

Carter is in the record books as the only NBA player to see action in four decades – the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s. In the PBA, NLEX’ Asi Taulava has marked the same milestone. He’s now 47 and still active with the Road Warriors. When Taulava checked in to play against Magnolia last Wednesday, he became the first PBA cager to suit up in four decades. He entered the pro league in 1999.

Robert Jaworski holds the record as the oldest PBA player ever. In May 1997, he played his last game at 51. Jaworski turned pro in 1975, the PBA’s inaugural year, and played in three decades. Taulava has four more years to match The Big J’s age record.

In the PBA this season, six players are over 40 – Taulava, Magnolia’s Rafi Reavis, 43, Meralco’s Reynel Hugnatan and TNT’s Harvey Carey, both 41 and Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa and San Miguel Beer’s Billy Mamaril, both 40. Coming close to 40 are San Miguel Beer’s Arwind Santos and TNT’s Jay Washington, both 39, Ginebra’s Joe De Vance, Rain or Shine’s James Yap and Blackwater’s Niño Canaleta, all 38 and Ginebra’s Jeff Chan, TNT’s Ryan Reyes and San Miguel Beer’s Alex Cabagnot, all 37. Caguioa is in his 18th season with Ginebra, the most of any player in a career with a single franchise.

On the average, the oldest PBA team is San Miguel Beer (31.47 years old). Next in line is Ginebra (31.4) then Phoenix (31.1), TNT (30.5), Magnolia (30.14), Meralco (30.06), NLEX (30), Rain or Shine (29.9), NorthPort (29.5), Alaska (28.3), Blackwater (28.2) and Terrafirma (27.7). San Miguel has nine players over 30, excluding June Mar Fajardo and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser who are over 30 but not in the bubble. Ginebra lists eight players who are over 30. Alaska has 12 players who are less than 30 while Blackwater, NLEX and Terrafirma, 11.

The youngest PBA player is Terrafirma’s Toto Calvo who’s 23. Five others are 23 but are a few months older, namely, Blackwater’s Diego Dario, Richard Escoto and Paul Desiderio, San Miguel Beer’s Wendell Comboy and Meralco’s Aaron Black. The oldest players in each lineup are Alaska’s Jvee Casio, 34, Ginebra’s Caguioa, 40, Blackwater’s Canaleta, 38, Magnolia’s Reavis, 43, Meralco’s Hugnatan, 41, NLEX’ Taulava, 47, Phoenix’ JC Intal, 36, Terrafirma’s Aldrech Ramos, 32, TNT’s Carey, 41, Rain or Shine’s Yap, 38, San Miguel’s Mamaril, 40 and NorthPort’s Sean Anthony, 34. The youngest players in each roster are Alaska’s Barkley Ebona, 24, Ginebra’s Jerrick Balanza, 24, Blackwater’s Escoto, 23, Magnolia’s Aris Dionisio, 25, Meralco’s Black, 23, NLEX’ Kris Porter, 26, Phoenix’ Jorey Napoles, 26, Terrafirma’s Calvo, 23, TNT’s Kib Montalbo, 24, Rain or Shine’s Adrian Wong, 24, San Miguel Beer’s Comboy, 23 and NorthPort’s Renzo Subido, 24.

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