JB ABL team run-down and analysis (Part 2)

Ralph Bajon of Asialink will try to lead his squad together with Ryan Calamaan (Angelo Fajardo)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Now that we’ve assessed team Malditos and the OJNA crocodiles, let us continue to analyze two other teams that will make waves in the JB Amateur Basketball League season II.

What comes into your mind when you hear the teams Asialink and XYZ/TOTO-TIA-TEN squads?

Usually, Ilonggo ballers would describe these two squads as well-coached, disciplined, and youthful.

With team Asialink handing Uniwheels their only loss in the JB ABL I regular season would be the best description for them.

Settling for a runner-up finish in the category 1 elite division, the boys in blue and orange are looking to avenge their loss in the finals and atone for their runner-up finish.

Re-announcing himself in the Ilonggo basketball community is a former national team member and kid phenom, Ryan Calamaan.

Asialink made one of the boldest moves in the off-season after confirming that the 6’4’’ wing will be playing for them with hopes of matching up well with the rest of the teams who also revamped their rosters.

Calamaan’s height and athletic ability is sure to cause problems for opposing teams not to mention the numerous mismatches he creates with his decent ball-handling and ability to shoot from the outside.

However, despite Calamaan joining the team, Asialink has to bid farewell to three of its mainstays after neighboring teams acquired them.

Wilmer Dalumpines, Asialink’s all-around guy who can defend and run the break, will suit up for team ODM.

King James Bordolaza, one of Asialink’s best versatile forwards, will play for team XYZ/TOTO-TIA-TEN together with Marvin Cuerbo, an ever-reliable scorer and Asialink’s top-shooter.

Although Calamaan and Ralph Bajon are expected to form a formidable duo for Asialink, the departure of Dalumpines, Bordolaza, and Cuerbo will leave too deep a void and will not only affect the team’s system but could negatively impact their offensive and defensive efficiency.

The roster change would be a “Nay” for me because I think the remaining Asialink members could not totally fill in the shoes left by the three vital gunners who are leaving for season II.

Yes, Calamaan is a solid addition for the team, but he is yet to adapt to the new system given the absence of the three who were integral parts to their strong finish last season.

With Asialink’s move a “Nay” for me, let’s analyze one of the newest teams that will join the JB ABL II, the XYZ/TOTO-TIA-TEN squad.

The name is no stranger, right?

XYZ and TOTO-TIA-TEN are two companies that have been a staple in the Ilonggo basketball community for their unending support and endorsement of the sport. And this time, upon seeing the mission and vision of JB ABL, decided to join.

The team is mostly comprised of members from the WIT varsity team and with coach John Guanco calling the shots, this squad will definitely be a team to watch out for.

Although newcomers to the JB ABL, the team already has a system in place and have the veterans to run them. Led by Cuerbo and Bordoloza, two players who have already seen action in the JB ABL I, this group of young guns will be a team not to be toyed with.

Having had success with St. Robert’s and WIT, Coach Guanco’s experience will be an x-factor in how he molds his team in order to compete with the top commercial teams in the city.

The emerging XYZ/TOTO-TIA-TEN squad, I can guarantee will be one of the dark horse teams in the league and with the patience and discipline these guys have, will surely be ready against all the participating teams.

My verdict would be “Yay” for this squad because they already have the system and the cohesion as a group to go against the other teams and with the veteran coach Guanco orchestrating at the sidelines, will make this team tougher to beat.

See you in part 3 where we talk about the remaining six teams and their off-season moves!