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There is a reason why John Amores went 1-of-12 in that JRU versus Benilde game.

Say what you will for the shitty thing he did, but he can ball. When the Heavy Bombers shrugged the lowly EAC Generals on November 4, Amores buried a clutch triple with less than five seconds remaining to seal the JRU win. More than a month before the incident, Amores went off with 19 points to notch JRU’s first win against the San Beda Red Lions in six years.

Amores is in general, a fearless guard/forward who can play both offense and defense.

The problem for Amores is that he is too fearless.


With that said, the NCAA ban will limit his career choices. Amores is the second NCAA player to get banned this season. Mapua’s acquisition of Gab Gamboa messed up their juju and from Season 97 finalists, the Cardinals became Season 98 bottom dwellers despite their intact lineup. Unlike Gamboa, who is a college basketball nomad, Amores has been with the Heavy Bombers since his high school days.

I can see Amores drifting to the semi-pro leagues because aside from his notoriety, he has the tools to make money with basketball.

But can he make the PBA though?


Time first.

Before you say anything.

Yes, Amores has problems left and right and I doubt if he's "crime-free" enough to get his application approved but let's just say that he really wants to exercise his dream of becoming a professional basketball player mere months after the incident that messed up his collegiate career.

Let him burn.

Either he'll find success or find himself in another ridiculous situation.

Again, let him burn.


The PBA has had its share of problems. They stuck with their commercial league status and through the years, they are paying for it. If you compare the Metro Manila crowd with any MPBL arena, it fails in comparison unless the game involves Ginebra, San Miguel, and Magnolia. The dwindling crowds as well as league imbalance have prompted the best college players as well as other free agents to test the international waters. Aside from the lucrative pay, these leagues could care less about a player’s age and educational background – two more reasons why the kids are playing elsewhere. Inserting the troubled Amores into the PBA mix will surely spark negative publicity.


In some ways, Amores’ actions also fail in comparison to the other names that have played in the PBA. For starters, the league has had Fil-Shams. Through the years, the PBA has opened its doors to players with lawsuits as well as those who have falsified documents. There have been times when the league welcomed collegiate game-fixers and point-shavers with open arms. In terms of violence, we have seen a player punch a fan, we have witnessed an import choke a teammate, and we have seen a player get paralyzed (and in some cases, almost got paralyzed) because of shady incidents. And it’s not like the Toyota versus Crispa parking lot brawls aren’t documented.

For as long as a person is Filipino with the skills to battle the Philippines’ best (that are still in the country), then that player has every right to play in the PBA.

The NCAA is well known as a PBA stepping stone. Yes, the UAAP has all the stars but when they reach the PBA, they either struggle or find their superstar statuses diminish. Again, we can blame this on the current PBA setup. Can you imagine a community giving away their player for a bunch of benchwarmers? Not only will the said mayor lose the next election but they are probably going to boycott the brand that’s sponsoring the team.

If Amores plays for a Laguna squad, then they’ll probably forget about his flaws.

But the PBA isn’t built that way. Every year we have seen former college big names languish on the sidelines, destined to either strut their wares elsewhere or fulfill a career in the reserve list. Ronald Pascual is an example. Ryan Buenafe is another. Then there’s Jeric Teng, Alex Nuyles, Josan Nimes, Elmer Espiritu, and hell… most of the players from the Gilas Pilipinas cadet team over the years.

This is because the rich teams get richer with talent. The SMC and MVP teams have enough to make a star player plead to become a benchwarmer.


Amores is a controversial 23-year-old who played for a team that never really made an impact in the NCAA. His offense is a bit suspect and he’s probably going to tone down his aggressiveness. Furthermore, Jose Rizal University may have produced the likes of former MVPs Philip Cezar and Vergel Meneses. Still, since 2010, their players rarely score a first-round and even a second-round selection.

Since 2010, John Wilson is the only Heavy Bomber to be selected in the first round with Marvin Hayes and John Grospe getting the call in the second round. With that said, Hayes and Grospe debuted in the PBA years past their draft season. Of the eleven players selected in a span of 12 seasons, Wilson is the only player to log more than 200 games. Philip Paniamogan, an undrafted Heavy Bomber from the 2014 PBA Draft, logs second in this span with 100+ games mostly spent with the NLEX Road Warriors.

In some ways, Hayes, Mark Cagoco, Mike Mabulac, Teytey Teodoro, Nate Matute, Byron Villarias, and Jeckster Apinan have better JRU stints as compared to Amores but these players failed to translate their game to the next level.


So what are the chances of Amores in the PBA?

If the PBA forgets the "brawler" part of his resume, he can play in the PBA.

If he becomes a 6’2 enforcer, then he’s probably going to boost the second unit of a random championship drive. He has the archetype of an offensive player (haha) with enough balls to clamp the other team’s star player. If he is that batshit ballsy, Amores can apply for the draft and be the resident dickhead when he gets his name called. I doubt if he’ll get the call in the first two rounds but for teams in need of fan following (or otherwise), then Amores is a divisive pick to could be at the level of when Manny Pacquiao was picked in the first round by Kia.

Both are boxers with insane knockout power.


But if he gets this chance, he needs to straighten out. While yeah, it's fun analyzing Amores’ future in basketball, he needs to check his anger because this is going to be the first and foremost reason why he can’t pad his bank account for at least a couple or so years. Apart from what he did to Jimboy Pasturan and Taine Davis, he also had incidents with Kobe Monje and Ichie Altamirano (although the latter was tamer).

It’s easy for Amores to see action as a hakot or a hired gun if this is the end of his televised basketball career but maybe, once his criminal charges have been taken care of, he could find himself as a Junthy Valenzuela-enforcer role in some team that would turn him from bad guy to good guy.

The 2024 PBA Draft, maybe?

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