PBA Shortest Player
IN THE PBA Shortest Player, the land of Goliaths, Davids have emerged from time to time to demonstrate that little guys, too, have a place in pro basketball. They made up for their lack of height with spirit and innovation, playing pesky defense and clever scoring methods. Fidel Mangonon III, the PBA’s head statistician, was gracious enough to offer information on the league’s largest small men.
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The following are the five shortest PBA players in history:
Emman Monfort (5’6″)
Emman Monfort was a solid playmaker in college, helping Ateneo win three UAAP titles, but his ability to transition his performance to the pros was questioned. However, the 16th overall choice in the 2012 Draft wasted no time establishing his worth, posting his greatest season as a rookie, averaging 9.1 points, five assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.8 steals in 27.8 minutes for Barako Bull.
Monfort, a gold medallist at the 2011 Jakarta Southeast Asian Games, was named an All-Star in his hometown of Iloilo in 2018.
Monfort is presently an assistant coach for the Road Warriors after finishing his career at NLEX.
Manny Pacquiao (5’6″)
Add this honor to Manny Pacquiao’s long list of accolades.
Pacquiao was the 11th overall choice in the 2014 rookie draft and became the oldest PBA rookie when he played his debut game at the age of 35 years, 10 months, and two days.
The only eight-division world champion in boxing scored his first career point on February 8, 2015, when the Kia Carnival defeated Purefoods 95-84 in a game in which Star import and NBA veteran Daniel Orton called Pacquiao’s pro basketball stint “a joke,” leading to his banishment from the league just a few days later.
On August 21, 2016, Pacquiao hit his first career three-pointer in Mahindra’s 97-88 victory against Blackwater.
Pacquiao completed his PBA career with only seven points over nine games over two seasons, as he continued to balance his boxing and government obligations.
Boyet Bautista (5’5″)
Boyet Bautista has always impressed himself with his prolific and clutch scoring during his days at Letran and being a PBA Shortest Player.
He led Toyota-Otis-Letran to the 2006 PBL Unity Cup victory before being selected ninth overall by Purefoods in the 2006 PBA Draft.
After making a brief stint in the pros, Bautista joined the national squad that won the gold medal at the 2007 Nakhon Ratchasima SEA Games. He eventually settled for the AFP Cavaliers in the UNTV Cup.
Al Vergara (height: 5’5″)
In the early 2010s, Al Vergara made the journeyman look good by becoming a sought-after playmaker in the area and being a PBA Shortest Player.
The St. Francis of Assisi graduate, who went undrafted in the 2006 PBA draft, earned his mark in the amateurs by initially playing for the Harbour Centre dynasty in the Philippine Basketball League.
Vergara, a deft point guard who always makes sound judgments, was one of the first Filipino immigrants in the Asean area, joining the Singapore Slingers in the Asean Basketball League.
Vergara’s ticket to the PBA came via Purefoods in 2009, followed by the Barako Energy Coffee Masters a year later.
After rejoining the Slingers, he played for ABL’s Philippine equivalent, the Philippine Patriots, before bouncing around the PBA (Barako Bull and GlobalPort) (Saigon Heat and another stint with Singapore).
Virgilio Abarrientos (5’5″)
He is the first Abarrientos player to build a name for himself in the PBA Shortest Player. Johnny Abarrientos’ uncle was a talented floor general who was categorized as a guard but was also tall enough to be a forward. He played in the PBA’s debut season in 1975 and appeared in 42 games over two years for Utex and Carrier, averaging a strong 9.2 points per game.