30 September 2014

Will Ken Bono Get a Chance at Meralco?

Ken Bono
Ken Bono can be considered as one of your proverbial PBA journeyman after he was selected sixth overall by the Alaska Aces in the 2007 PBA Draft. He last played for the San Mig Coffee Mixers and with the Bangkok Cobras in the ASEAN Basketball League.

According to one article, "he’s like a 2K version of Cris Bolado," a perennial back-up/bench player who was like a lucky charm for mostly for Alaska during its 1990s heyday and later Ginebra as they won titles.

The 6'5" Bono, of course, hopes that he won’t be remembered for that. He knows he can play. "Hangad ko more than the championships (he was a part of title teams with San Miguel and B-Meg/San Mig Coffee) and bonuses ay makapaglaro na talaga."

The constant benching has greatly told the former UAAP MVP's confidence not to mention his self-esteem. There are days when he is sullen and morose. The joy that the game gave him for so long has changed to one of survival.

"Ang hirap talaga," admitted Bono who was a star for Iloilo Central Commercial High School and Adamson University where he won the 2006 Most Valuable Player Award. He was also named to a couple of Mythical teams in the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) before jumping to the pro circuit.

"Di naman tayo nagkukulang sa effort pero baka talagang marami lang tayo ka-position sa PBA. At puro star-studded ang mga napupuntahan kong teams."

Bono did get a few chances. He once scored 16 points in a victory by San Miguel over Ginebra in 2009. While at Barako Bull he scored in double figures several times. Just when it seemed that he was going to be inserted in the regular rotation, the team disbanded.

"May chance sana sa Barako Bull pero nag-disband naman kami mid-season."

"Mahirap naman din magreklamo kasi kahit paano nandito pa tayo at may hanap buhay," noted Ken who aside from supporting his wife and son also sends tuition money back home for some relatives in Iloilo.

"Ako din kasi sumusuporta sa amin sa Iloilo sa lola ko at sa pag-aaral ng mga pinsan ko. Tapos nag-aaral narin anak namin ni Maya (his wife)."

While the average playing career of a PBA player is five years, Bono has exceeded that as he will begin his eighth season ... provided he is able to latch on to the Bolts roster.

He plans to pick the mind of the former Best Import and Grand Slam-winning coach Norman Black on not only improving is game in order to get more meaningful playing time.

"Sana maka-pirma sa Meralco," closed out Bono. "Pero sana din bigyan din ako ng chance na makapaglaro. Gusto ko lang maglaro."

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