Enrico Villanueva

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Enrico Villanueva
No. 14 – NLEX Road Warriors
Position Center / Power forward
League Philippine Basketball Association
Personal information
Born (1980-06-23) June 23, 1980 (age 34)
Pasay City, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school Ateneo de Manila University
College Ateneo de Manila University (1998–2002)
PBA draft 2003 Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall
Selected by the Batang Red Bull Thunder
Pro career 2003–present
Career history
2003–2007 Red Bull Barako
2007–2008 San Miguel Beermen
2008–2009 Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants
2009–2012 Barangay Ginebra Kings
2012–2013 Barako Bull Energy Cola
2014 GlobalPort Batang Pier
2014-present NLEX Road Warriors
Career highlights and awards
  • PBA All Defensive Team (2005)
  • PBA Most Improved Player (2005)
  • PBA Fiesta Conference Best Player (2006)
  • PBA Mythical First Team 2006)
  • 7x PBA All-Star (2003–2009)

Jose Enrico Pascual Villanueva (born June 23, 1980 in Pasay City, Philippines), better known simply as Enrico Villanueva, and by the nicknames Raging Bull and E-Vill, is a Filipino professional basketball player who will play for the NLEX Road Warriors in the Philippine Basketball Association. He is a former Most Valuable Player in the UAAP for his alma mater the Ateneo de Manila University in 2002.

Amateur career[edit]

Villanueva first played for the Ateneo Blue Eaglets in the UAAP Juniors division leading them to numerous winning seasons and championships. He moved to the college ranks in 1998 and led the Ateneo Blue Eagles to several final four appearances and two UAAP Finals appearances, eventually winning the basketball crown in 2002 over their rivals, the De La Salle Green Archers.

He also had several chances to win the Most Valuable Player award but lost to Don Allado (1999) and teammate Rich Alvarez (2000 and 2001) before finally winning it in his final season in 2002.

In the Philippine Basketball League, Villanueva began with Blu Detergent in 1999 before leading the Ateneo sponsored Hapee-NENACO team to the PBL title in 2002 over his former team Blu.

PBA career[edit]

In 2003, Villanueva applied for the PBA Rookie Draft, in one of the deepest drafts in PBA history. He was eventually selected seventh overall by Batang Red Bull Thunder.

He had a limited role in his rookie season in 2003 with Red Bull with veterans Davonn Harp and Mick Pennisi playing the bigger roles. This continued during the 2004 Fiesta Conference when Red Bull claimed runner-up honors to Barangay Ginebra in the Finals.

However, after Harp and Pennisi were shelved for failing to further prove their Filipino lineage (Pennisi has since returned to the league), Villanueva saw his playing time increase along with his production. Despite a sorry performance in the 2004-05 Philippine Cup, he managed to lead Red Bull to a fourth-place finish in the 2005 Fiesta Conference. By season's end, he was named as the Most Improved Player by the league and became the new face of the franchise.

In the 2005-06 season, Villanueva became a two-time All-Star representing the North All-Stars. He led Red Bull to the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference championship where he was named as the Best Player of the Conference over Purefoods' Kerby Raymundo.

He again led the Bulls to the finals in the Philippine Cup but lost to Purefoods, 4-2, in a rematch of the Fiesta Cup finals. By season's end, Villanueva was included in the PBA Mythical Team but lost in the MVP race to Purefoods' James Yap.

Villanueva was traded to the San Miguel Beermen for Rommel Adducul in May 2007, while Villanueva was playing for the national team.

On March 26, 2008, Purefoods center Rommel Adducul announced that he had cancer and would not be able to play while getting treatment. His team, Purefoods, was then forced to look for a legit center and turned to Villanueva to fill the void. In a four-team trade, Purefoods acquired Villanueva, sending energetic forward Marc Pingris to San Miguel (known as Magnolia at that time).

He was then traded to Ginebra in a three-team trade which involves the Kings, Purefoods and Burger King.[1] While playing with Ginebra, he reunited with college teammates Rich Alvarez and Paolo Bugia, and was tasked to back up oft-injured Eric Menk.

National team[edit]

Villanueva was a member of the Team Pilipinas, the RP team coached by Chot Reyes. He played for the country in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2005 and the 2005 Brunei Cup. He is remembered during the Champions Cup for pulling the leg of Sagesse Lebanon's Stephen Howard after an altercation, resulting in his ejection. He also suited up for the team again in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2007, Southeast Asia Basketball Association Championship 2007 and the 2012 William Jones Cup.

Feud with Joseph Yeo[edit]

Villanueva is vividly remembered for his on and off the court feud with now Air21 teammate Joseph Yeo.

Their feud began during the PBA-sanctioned Ateneo-La Salle Dream Games in December 2005, pitting past and present Ateneo and La Salle players in an exhibition game. The incident saw Yeo elbowed Villanueva at the forehead, resulting in Yeo's ejection from the game. Villanueva eventually hit the game-winner in that contest. At that time, Yeo was still an amateur playing for Harbour Centre in the Philippine Basketball League and since it was a PBA-sanctioned game, commissioner Noli Eala gave Yeo a three-month probation after being selected by Coke in the 2006 PBA Draft.

Another incident happened during a 2006 PBA preseason game at the Emilio Aguinaldo College Sports Center in Manila when both players were reportedly involved in a physical and verbal exchange. However, the league did not sanction both players.

The most recent came in a 2006-07 Philippine Cup game between Red Bull and Coca-Cola at the Araneta Coliseum. A physical exchange happened during the waning moments of the first half between both players. But after the game, a parking lot incident broke between Yeo and Villanueva. They were both sanctioned with fines by the commissioner and both players have since promised to end the feud.

Ginebra[edit]

Barangay Ginebra traded Paul Artadi, Rafi Reavis, and the rights to 2009 8th pick overall Chris Timberlake for Enrico Villanueva, Rich Alvarez, Celino Cruz, and Paolo Bugia of Purefoods. Burger King acted as the conduit team, trading Pocholo Villanueva to Ginebra and acquiring the rights to 2009 Rookie draft eighteenth pick Orlando Daroya and future picks.

Return to the Barako[edit]

Villanueva will wear a Barako uniform for the second time in his career after being traded away from Ginebra for Willie Miller.

GlobalPort[edit]

On the 2013 PBA Draft Day, he was traded to GlobalPort Batang Pier for Willie Miller.[2]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Nobina "Bing" Hao, his longtime girlfriend.

Accomplishments[edit]

UAAP[edit]

  • 2002 Men's Basketball Most Valuable Player

Philippine Basketball Association[edit]

  • 2004-05 PBA Most Improved Player
  • 2005-06 PBA Fiesta Conference Best Player
  • 2005-06 PBA Mythical Team

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
UST's school colors Emerson Oreta
UAAP Junior's Basketball Most Valuable Player
1997
Succeeded by
UST's school colors Alwyn Espiritu
Preceded by
Ateneo's school colors Rich Alvarez
UAAP Senior's Basketball Most Valuable Player
2002
Succeeded by
UE's school colors James Yap