Willie Miller (basketball)
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Willie V. Miller, Jr. (born July 13, 1977) is a Filipino former professional basketball player. He last played for the Pilipinas MX3 Kings of the ASEAN Basketball League. He has started at the point guard position mostly but could also play the shooting guard spot. Miller has won four PBA championships and two PBA Most Valuable Player Awards.
Miller played college basketball for Letran, where he was highly promoted in the national media as a future PBA superstar. After graduating, he was selected with the first overall pick in the 2001 PBA draft by the Thunder. Miller led them to two PBA championships before he got traded to the Alaska Aces where he also won one.
Willie Miller played collegiate ball for the Letran Knights in the NCAA.
Metropolitan Basketball AssociationEdit
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 AssociationEdit
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 yearEdit
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
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 ConferenceEdit
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 CupEdit
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 CupEdit
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.
GlobalPort Batang Pier (2012–2013)Edit
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. 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.
Return to Talk 'N Text (2015)Edit
ASEAN Basketball LeagueEdit
Pilipinas MX3 Kings (2015–2016)Edit
He has agreed to terms with the Pacquiao Powervit Pilipinas Aguilas (which was later renamed to Pilipinas MX3 Kings) before the season start, a team which play in the ASEAN Basketball League. He scored 12 points in his ABL debut.
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.
He was among the 12 players for Team Pilipinas that played in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship.
PBA career statisticsEdit
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Correct as of September 25, 2015
|2004–05||Talk 'N Text||80||35.4||.384||.324||.763||5.9||4.7||1.3||.2||16.1|
|2005–06||Talk 'N Text||20||33.1||.351||.311||.697||5.3||3.9||.9||.0||12.2|
|2009–10||Alaska / Barangay Ginebra||49||30.6||.407||.349||.712||5.0||4.0||.7||.1||13.6|
|2014–15||Talk 'N Text||17||14.5||.366||.309||.800||1.7||1.8||.3||.0||4.8|
- Flores, Celest R. (August 31, 2012). "Tenorio to Ginebra, Casio to Alaska, Miller to Global Port as PBA approves trade". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- "After trade for Miller, Villanueva embraces leader's role at young Globalport side". Spin.ph. November 3, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- "Barako lets go of Miller". Tempo. September 2, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- "TALK 'N TEXT SIGNS VETERAN GUARD WILLIE MILLER FOR COMMISSIONER'S CUP CAMPAIGN". InterAksyon.com. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- Snow Badua (September 8, 2015). "With PBA jobs scarce, Willie Miller, fellow pros try luck with ABL side Pilipinas Aguilas". Spin.ph. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- "Pacquiao Powervit Pilipinas Aguilas triumphant in ABL debut". InterAksyon. October 29, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- Player Profile at PBA-Online!