Two-time MVP awardee Benjie Paras, crack pointguard Ronnie Magsanoc, league pioneer star Lim Eng Beng and four-time champion coach Ed Ocampo make up the fifth batch of esteemed personalities that will be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame.
Paras, Magsanoc, Lim and Ocampo will be the latest addition to the distinguished roll as they drew the required number of votes after the thorough evaluation and review of the eight-man Honors Committee led by PBA commissioner Chito Salud and board chairman Robert Non.
Nominated but narrowly missing affirmation by the Honors Committee were Arnie Tuadles, import Sean Chambers, longtime league official Elmer Yanga, referee Igmidio Cahanding and media man Fred Luarca.
The fifth PBA Hall of Fame ceremony will be held during the opening of the 2014 PBA season or in a separate event prior to the opening.
Immediate PBA past chair Mert Mondragon, incoming chair Ramon Segismundo and media practitioners Bobby Barreiro, Ding Marcelo, Joe Antonio and Lorenzo Lomibao Jr. were the other members of the Honors Committee that screened the list of candidates made by the Selection Committee.
Each nominee needed a minimum of five votes to hurdle the strict guidelines of the Hall of Fame procedure.
Thirty-six esteemed individuals have been previously inducted into the Hall of Fame, led by initial honorees Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Atoy Co, Philip Cezar, Bogs Adornado, Francis Arnaiz, Baby Dalupan, Leo Prieto, Emerson Coseteng, Rudy Salud, Danny Floro and Joe Cantada.
Paras is easily the top choice in the 2013 batch with his fabled career started by his record Rookie of the Year/MVP citation in 1989. He would win another MVP award 10 years later.
Magsanoc formed a deadly one-two punch with Paras in their Shell days in the late 80s to the 90s, handing the fuel company four championships. He was arguably the best playmaker in his time, among the players selected in the first all-pro Phl team sent to international wars in the 1990 Beijing Asiad.
Lim was among the league’s pioneer stars, a pillar in the U/Text squad that twice stole a crown at the height of the fabled CrispaToyota rivalry.
Ocampo will be honored posthumously. The late Atenean, a marquee cager and footballer, carved a niche in the pro league, being one of only 10 coaches who have won at least four PBA titles.