Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Looking at the Meralco Bolts' Jason Ballesteros and Anjo Caram

If you look at the picture above, you'll find the Meralco Bolts' Jason Ballesteros being hounded by three Ginebra players in Scottie Thompson who is looking to swipe the ball, and greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar who are looking to deny an under goal stab or kick out.

Ballesteros along with Slaughter and Aguilar were teammates on the first very incarnation of Smart Gilas under Rajko Toroman. Jason at the very least was a serviceable center during that time in a national jersey. Yet obviously, the national team or even the PBA were a far cry from his days as a San Sebastian Stag in the NCAA where he ruled the roost. In the pro loop, it seemed that he was going to either be a journeyman or one's who career never really got going.

I remember Toroman telling me that Jason was one of the more fragile players and that he was in sore need of encouragement to get going. The fact that he is still in the PBA means he has value. 

Has he found a lifeline with the Bolts? Time will only tell but for a moment there, when he helped score the marginal points in Meralco's 84-82 win over nemesis Barangay Ginebra at the Philippine Arena. That was a huge win that gave the Bolts' a 4-6 record to keep them still afloat in this conference. 

And Jason scored only 7 points but grabbed 17 rebounds against Ginebra's monstrous frontline. 

Another player who seems to have defied the odds staying with a PBA club let alone getting drafted is Anjo Caram. While other more ballyooed teammates from San Beda don't seem to get going in the pros or never fully established themselves, Caram has been steady. 

And the point guard played solid against Ginebra and its superb corps of guards in LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, and Sol Mercado.

Caram finished with 16 points and 3 rebounds to help his side earn this win.

At 4-6, this is a better showing in the All-Filipino Conference for Meralco in the PBA. However, Coach Norman Black and the rest of the coaches aren't simply out to improve their win total as opposed to the past two stagings of the tourney. They are here to go deep in the conference. Let's see how far they go now and how Jason and Anjo fare as well.

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