Willie Miller (basketball)

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Willie Miller
MillerDavid.jpg
Willie Miller (left) taking on Gary David
No. 11
Shooting guard / Point guard
Personal information
Born (1977-07-13) July 13, 1977 (age 37)
Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Listed height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Listed weight 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
College Colegio de San Juan de Letran
PBA draft 2001 Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Batang Red Bull Thunder
Pro career 1999–present
Career history
1999–2000 Nueva Ecija Patriots
2001–2003 Batang Red Bull Thunder
2004–2006 Talk 'N Text Phone Pals
2006–2010 Alaska Aces
2010–2011 Barangay Ginebra Kings
2011–2012 Barako Bull Energy
2012–2013 GlobalPort Batang Pier
2013-2014 Barako Bull Energy
Career highlights and awards
  • NCAA Rookie of the Year (1995)
  • 2x PBA Obstacle Challenge Champion (2006, 2008)
  • 11x PBA All-Star (2001, 2003–2004, 2006–2011)
  • 2x PBA Most Valuable Player (2002, 2007)
  • 3x PBA Mythical First Team (2002, 2005, 2007)
  • 2x PBA Mythical Second Team (2008–2009)
  • PBA All-Defensive Team (2003)
  • PBA Fiesta Best Player of the Conference (2005)
  • PBA Trick Shot Challenge Champion (2006)
  • PBA Fiesta Conference Finals Most Valuable Player (2007)
  • PBA All-Star Co-Finals Most Valuable Player (2007)
  • PBA Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference (2009)
  • PBA Motolite Pangmatagalan Player of the Year (2009)
  • PBA Sportsmanship Award (2013-2014)

Willie V. Miller, Jr. (born July 13, 1977) is a Filipino professional basketball player who is currently a free agent. He last played for the Barako Bull Energy in the Philippine Basketball Association.

After an amateur career with the Letran Knights in the NCAA and a short stint with Tanduay in the Philippine Basketball League, Miller joined the Metropolitan Basketball Association for the Nueva Ecija Patriots from 1999-2000. During his tenure in the Metropolitan Basketball Association Miller made it to the MBA First Five in 1999.

He joined the PBA in 2001 and was the top overall pick of the Batang Red Bull Thunder in the draft. In 2002, he was named as the PBA's Most Valuable Player. He later joined the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals from 2004-2006 before being traded to Alaska, and again being named Most Valuable Player in the 2006-07 season.

Amateur career[edit]

Willie Miller played collegiate ball for the Letran Knights in the NCAA and also played for Tanduay in the team's last conference in the amateur commercial league playing alongside Eric Menk, Ren-Ren Ritualo, Chris Cantonjos, Mark Telan and Gerald Francisco, claiming a runner-up finish against Doctor J Rubbing Alcohol.

Professional career[edit]

Metropolitan Basketball Association[edit]

In 1999, Miller turned pro and instead opted to play for the expansion Nueva Ecija Patriots of the MBA. With Miller parading the Patriots, he was ranked second in the league in scoring averaging 23.6 a contest and made it to the MBA First Five. However, the Patriots won only five games in his first season.

Despite another impressive second year with Nueva Ecija, they never made it to the playoffs as the team ranked among the worst teams in the league during the 2000 season.

Philippine Basketball Association[edit]

Red Bull (2001–2003)[edit]

In 2001, Miller opted out of the MBA to join the PBA Rookie Draft. Batang Red Bull Thunder, with the top overall pick in the draft, selected Miller as the first pick, despite speculations of possibly choosing Filipino-American John Arigo.

In his first season, Miller was playing the backup role to Jimwell Torion at point guard but was able to contribute solid numbers in his PBA debut. He played a key role in Red Bull's 2001 Commissioners Cup championship upset of the San Miguel Beermen. In Game 5, he made a last-second block on Beermen import Nate Johnson to preserve the Thunder's victory, and a 3-2 series lead.

2002: MVP year[edit]

Fortunes change 2002, despite playing sparingly with Torion, Junthy Valenzuela and Lordy Tugade, Miller played a huge role for Red Bull. After an impressive performance against the RP-Hapee Training Pool in which he single-handedly led Red Bull to an overtime win over the Nationals, Miller performances alongside the impressive play of teammate Davonn Harp led to Red Bull's second PBA title in the 2002 Commissioners Cup.

He continued his play all the way to the All-Filipino Cup almost leading the Thunder to another finals berth. At season's end, he was selected to the PBA Mythical Team and won the PBA Most Valuable Player Award, the only player in league history to win the award with a scoring average below 10 points a contest. Miller beat teammate Harp for the award.

Miller continued to play his usual performances in the 2003, making it to the Mythical Team for the second straight season.

Talk 'N Text (2004–2006)[edit]

In the 2004 offseason, Miller was traded by Red Bull to the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals in a one-sided deal. The transaction paved way for a strong backcourt duo between him and 2003 Rookie of the Year Jimmy Alapag while playing alongside 2003 MVP Asi Taulava and veterans Vic Pablo, Mark Telan, and rookie Harvey Carey.

During the 2004-05 PBA season, the Phone Pals played in two of the three finals appearances, with Miller playing big roles for the Phone Pals. However, losses to Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel denied Talk 'N Text a championship.

However, Miller played big games for the Phone Pals. He was instrumental in Talk 'N Text's come-from-behind win over Ginebra in Game 4 of the 2004-05 PBA Philippine Cup finals and in a losing effort scoring 32 points in Game 6.

He was named the 2005 PBA Fiesta Conference Best Player after another strong performance leading Talk 'N Text to the best record during the tournament.

At season's end, he was named to the Mythical Team joining Alapag on the spot.

Alaska Aces (2006–2010)[edit]

Miller contesting the ball with Air21's Ranidel de Ocampo

Willie once again played an all-around performance in the 2005-06 season. However, his stellar play could not lead the Phone Pals back to the finals of the Fiesta Conference. At the middle of the 2006 Philippine Cup, Miller was traded to the Alaska Aces as part of a big trade with the Phone Pals.

This time, Miller's backcourt partner would be Mike Cortez and with them, Jeffrey Cariaso, Sonny Thoss, and Reynel Hugnatan, the Aces took third-place honors during the conference after falling a game short against Purefoods for a finals berth.

In the 2006-07 Philippine Cup, Miller led Alaska in numerous categories for the injury-riddled Aces.

In the 2007 Fiesta Conference, he led the Alaska Aces with the help of 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference Best Import Rossell Ellis to the championships once again after 5 years. Winning the championship against Talk 'N Text in seven games despite being down 3-2 in the series making it the club's 12th title. He also bagged the PBA Most Valuable Player once again in that season, as well as the PBA Finals MVP.

In the 08-09 PBA Philippine Cup All-Filipino Conference, Miller won his second best player of the conference award, leading his team to the best record in the eliminations and eventually to the championship round. There, Miller performed superbly, averaging 15.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 6.5 assists and making some clutch plays. In Game 2, with Alaska down 84-89 with less than 7 minutes to play, he sparked a fiery rally, scoring six points in a decisive 16-0 run that eventually won them the game. Miller also played the hero in Game 5, where he scored 15 points, including an emphatic (and somewhat ill-advised) game-clinching three-pointer with 8.7 seconds remaining. However, the Aces lost to the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters in game seven, with Miller missing two free throws in the final 16 seconds that could have tied the game.

Barangay Ginebra Kings (2010–2011)[edit]

2010 Fiesta Conference[edit]

In the middle of the Fiesta Conference, Alaska traded him to Ginebra in exchange for Cyrus Baguio who wanted to have more minutes. On his debut with the Kings, they lost to his former. Ultimately, they ended their season in the quarterfinals to the Aces.

2010-2011 Philippine Cup[edit]

Ginebra amassed an impressive 10-4 card but it was only enough for 3rd place if only Miller did not turned the ball at least once in 3 out of there 4 games they could have avoided Alaska and gain Twice-to-beat Advantage. They will win against Alaska though 2-1 with a come from 0-1 deficit while trailing 20 points in the first quarter in game 3. But Miller was just limited to 2 points in game 1 and 1 point in game 3.

2011 Commissioner's and Governors Cup[edit]

As the season went through, Miller's minutes winded down due to the rising of then rookies John Wilson and Robert Labagala as well as the return of Mark Caguioa's superstar game. Before the start of the playoffs of the third conference, he got traded to the then Air21 Express who were looking for a guard that could help Dondon Hontiveros.

Barako Bull Energy (2011–2012)[edit]

Miller joined the Air21 Express before the start of the 2011-2012 season. The Express renamed its team to Barako Bull Energy after the sale of the majority share of the Energy Food and Drinks, a subsidiary of Photokina Marketing that exclusively distributed Red Bull Energy Drink to the Philippines to the Lina Group of Companies.

Global Port Batang Pier (2012-2013)[edit]

He got involved in the biggest trade this off-season which sent him first to Ginebra before landing to GlobalPort.

Barako Bull Energy (2013-2014)[edit]

He was back in Barako Bull's arms again after he was traded in the offseason for oft-injured center Enrico Villanueva.[1] His role in the team is more of a mentor to young guards and a voice in the locker room, though he can score and make plays for his teammates whenever he needs to. He was let go by the team after his contract expired last season and is contemplating retirement.[2]

National team[edit]

Miller was chosen by head coach Chot Reyes to play for the RP Training Pool in 2005. He played well for the Philippines in the FIBA-Asia tournament and participated in the William Jones Cup in Taiwan, when the country finished third. However, Miller played only three games after suffering an injury and was replaced by Denok Miranda.

In 2006, Miller played for the team in a Qatar Invitational tournament along with the two-game exhibition against the Lebanon national basketball team.

In 2008, he was again included in the RP Training Pool under former coach, Yeng Guiao.

He was among the 12 players for Team Pilipinas that played in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship.

Honors[edit]

  • PBA MVP: 2002, 2007

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
SSC-R's school colors Jerome Barbosa
NCAA Seniors' Basketball Rookie of the Year
1996
Succeeded by
Letran's school colors Kerby Raymundo
Preceded by
Eric Menk
PBA Fiesta Conference Best Player
2005
Succeeded by
Enrico Villanueva
Preceded by
Kelly Williams
PBA Philippine Cup Best Player Award
2008-09
Succeeded by
James Yap