A Closer Look At Mark Benitez

On: 14 August 2009

Mark Benitez

Aside from being a head-scratcher of sorts when they were selected by the Sta. Lucia Realtors (SLR) in the PBA Draft last 2 August 2009 at the Market! Market! in Taguig City, there was also not much information about the basketball credentials of No. 11 pick, Mark Benitez, and No. 17 pick, Charles Waters.

Most of the data from Google and other search engines point to a so-so performance by both players in the amateur league that does not merit much of a second look. Compared to the Realtors' last year's pick of Kevin Gregorio and Chito Jaime, the combined numbers of both Benitez and Waters paled in comparison, which makes fans wonder if there was really something substantial improvement in the team's roster after the draft.

Burly center Benitez is the La Salle player who was cited for submitting a fabricated Philippine Educational Placement Test Certificate of Rating (PEPTCR) in 2005 to gain eligibility as a college student without a high school diploma or a transcript of records. The discovery of the spurious documents means the Benitez has not graduated from high school and is, therefore, not qualified to enroll in college, much less play for their basketball team.

As a result, the Taft-based school had to forfeit their 2004 UAAP title and was suspended from joining the league for a year.

It was a hearth-breaking experience for a former Jose Rizal High standout who averaged 4.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 17.2 minutes as a rookie in 2003. The next year, when they won the title, Benitez averaged 4.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 17.5 minutes. He also shot a career-high 12 points against University of Santo Tomas that season.

In 2005, when the spurious documents were discovered, he averaged 2.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 11.9 minutes in 14 games. Benitez was scoreless in three outings and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds against the National University.

Their were reports he was part of the Happee Toothpaste team in the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) after school, but was never confirmed. When he transferred to the new Liga Pilipinas league in 2008, Benitez showed some signs of improvement. However, it was not enough to carry his team, Tagaytay, to the Finals.

The question of whether Benitez can do better than the previous rookies of the Realtors or even Dennis Daa, is something many critics could not agree on. Hopefully, for the Realtors they have several free-agents also trying out for the slot.

Mark Benitez
Height/Weight: 6'4" 192 lbs.
Date of Birth:
Position: Center
Years Pro: Rookie
College: De La Salle University
Teams played for: La Salle Green Archers, Happee Toothpaste, Tagaytay-Cavite Heroes

Liga Pilipinas Average


1 comments on "A Closer Look At Mark Benitez"

Anonymous said...

Idol! Bayabas! :)

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