22 November 2011

A Possible Draft Bust?

Jason Ballesteros
As long as anyone can remember, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) draft had its share of several bad picks in the early rounds. Since a player's performance is that much more influential to the team's fate, there are countless players who've been drafted high only to make PBA franchises wish they had that pick back.

Yet there was a reason some bad players were picked in the first round — teams, scouts and reporters saw something in these guys and had expectations of them becoming a certain kind of player down the road. Things simply ended up not going according to plan, and teams look back wondering what they ever saw in these players.

With teams trying to get the most out of their top picks, they tend to overhype players and listen more than watch. They sometimes allow the media to make the choices for them, inadvertently. Instead of studying the player and finding out their true skill level and if they will fit in with the organization, they listen to the media talk about how amazing that player is and how they are going to be the next superstar.

This could very well be the case of Jason Ballesteros, who was picked 7th overall by the Meralco Bolts in the last PBA draft. This could be one of many times that the Bolts and their supporters, like myself, have failed to choose their top picks wisely and it has cost some, if not most, very dearly. With the elimination round of the first conference halfway finish and everyone crunching numbers trying to figure out who will be stars and who will be busts from the Class of 2011, Ballesteros’s numbers are something of a disappointment.

The 6'7" Ballesteros was expected to be the chief reliever of the aging Asi Taulava and a replacement for Marlou Aquino because his built could allow him to crash the boards. He obviously wasn't even close to the same level as the 2010 version of Aquino even if he did crash the boards more frequently without any productive results. He averaged only 1.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in the ten games that the Bolts played so far.

This was the Bolts chance. Their chance to redeem themselves from the perceived notion that they are playing second fiddle to their sister team, Talk ‘N Text, and they failed. Even Aquino at 40 will do better than score a point in each of his game. He may not grab more than 3 rebounds per outing, but he definitely can block more than 0.3 attempts per game.

If Ballesteros' numbers don’t change soon, then he could earn the reputation as the Bolts biggest draft bust since acquiring the Sta. Lucia Realtor's franchise in 2009, solely because of who could have been drafted instead of him; Dylan Ababou, Allein Maliksi and even Magi Sison, who averages 4.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game with the Shopinas Clickers.

No comments:

Post a Comment