Jackson Can Ease The Pressure

On: 18 February 2009

Marlou Aquino and Ryan Reyes

Now that the Sta. Lucia Realtors have chosen their import in the coming 2008-2009 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Fiesta Cup Conference, serious work can finally begin to address their dismal performance in the previous two conferences and maybe add another title to their limited achievements.

By choosing A.J. Jackson, an imposing 6-6, 230-pound forward from Robert Morris University Colonials, the SLR management has recognized the need for an inside presence who can complement the hard work put up by team captain Dennis Espino and offset the obvious absence of any significant contribution from fellow veteran, Marlou Aquino.

Aquino used to put up respectable numbers during the elimination round of the 2008 PBA Philippine Cup, which they eventually won, but it went downhill from then on. From 8.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 block shots, Aquino can only manage to produce 4.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.9 block shots. This is a sub-par performance for any 6-9 bean pole who used to be the top slotman in the land.

With Jackson in the fold, Aquino’s game exposure will even become more limited, but he can still become a potent reliever for Espino once in awhile. With his impending retirement after the end of this season, Aquino may strive hard to give his fans one last glimpse of what he used to do before and what he can teach to his younger teammates.

The entry of a reliable offensive option down low could also ease the transfer of Kelly Williams to the shooting forward position, where he seems more comfortable, from the power forward slot. Expected to get his points down low by banging his lean frame against the much bigger opponents, Williams output significantly went down this year from what it used to be the previous period.

During his sophomore season, Williams average 17.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.7 turnovers per game during the elimination phase. This year, he can only managed to score 14.7 points, grabbed 10.9 rebounds and commit 2.3 turnovers. His assist numbers went up from 1.7 to 2.4 during the same period, but this is of no consequence when taken together with his dismal 23.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Despite his woeful shooting, Williams can’t seem to get rid of his penchant for hurling those low percentage long distance threes. He took 93 shots from the rainbow territory out of the 425 that the whole team has taken or at least one-fourth of the total shots. Paolo Mendoza, the designated hitman for the Realtors, only took 63 shots or 14.8 percent of the total shots taken by the team even if he is shooting a respectable 31.8 percent from that area.

Now that things are becoming clearer and comfort zones well-established, only a major setback like the one that former import Lee Benson did awhile back can disrupt the emergence of the revitalized Realtors.

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