Jammer Jamito made a funny dunk. Now what?


Jammer Jamito’s Eurostep Dunk got a lot of views from both local and international fans… even earning a spot in The Starters program. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Jamito had a so-so dunk during the first round. He would then try to get a finals spot by using Japeth Aguilar as hurdle. Instead of jumping on his teammate, Jamito would sidestep to a one-hander to the delight of the crowd.

It gained more attention when Chito Narvasa chastised the Ginebra rookie for putting on that move. This is to the point of banning Jamito for future jam fests. Narvasa has since retracted his statement…

… but what now?

The thing about these fifteen minutes of fame moments is that most of the time, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The said iceberg in this case is Jammer Jamito’s ability to play in the PBA. Taken by the Kings as the third pick overall of the 2016 PBA regular draft (which is basically the second round), Jamito has yet to show his true worth.

When Mick Pennisi broke the internet when he fell to the ground after getting hit with a ball to his face by Petron import Will McDonald, he looked dumb. However, the move also sent McDonald to the locker room area. With their import unavailable for the rest of the game, Petron lost to Barako Bull – and this move also eliminated the Blaze Boosters from playoff contention.

Jamito hardly gets any screen time. In seven contests this season, his playing time average is more than one-third of a quarter. He has yet to establish his presence with Japeth Aguilar, Dave Marcelo, Jervy Cruz, Joe Devance, Kevin Ferrer, and even Chris Ellis positioned higher and it doesn’t help that the final two conferences of the season are import-based. Worse, either Jamito or Jericho de Guzman will have to sit out the moment Greg Slaughter returns. Last season, Nico Salva, Dennice Villamor and Franklin Bonifacio held the same positions Jamito, De Guzman, and Paolo Taha had and they were traded for better components.

I guess this is why I thought Jamito should have made dunks that impressed instead of a dunk that entertained. His first dunk looked as if he threw it down sans the confidence. The second dunk is as if the Ginebra vets were hazing the rookie to do something crazy. Sure the dunk Enrico Villanueva did almost a decade ago was funny (especially when Asi Taulava tried to block it), but to E-Vil’s defense… he is more of a game dunker than a contest jammer.

Furthermore, he is an established superstar.

Jamito said in an interview that he planned the dunk.

I honestly don’t know what this guy is thinking.

Back in the past, we had Reuben dela Rosa, a big time player in the NCAA as well as in Stag in the PBL, use the contest so he can attract attention. Even if he got selected third in the 1996 PBA Draft (after Marlou Aquino and Rodney Santos), Purefoods used him sparingly. After winning the contest in his rookie year, he tried to make it two in a row. I thought retaining the title is super important to him because he has yet to see action in his second year. When he lost, that was the last time we saw Dela Rosa playing action in the PBA and a year later, Romy dela Rosa’s bro would see action for the Manila Metrostars in the MBA where up until the end of that league where he earned a penchant as a workhorse performer in both ends of the court.

And then there’s Joey Mente, who started his pro career with the Iloilo Volts before becoming San Miguel’s tenth pick overall in the 2001 PBA Draft. Before the dunk contest, his ass was glued on the Beermen bench. After wowing everybody and capturing the dunk gold, Jong Uichico gave the guard a chance and became a rotation player up until his move to Welcoat.

And perhaps a current player Jamito needs to check out is James Forrester. The Fil-Canadian from the Arellano Chiefs had his game face on during the dunk contest. He should have won the contest if not for his disappointing second finals attempt. But it’s an accomplishment in itself to upstage former slam dunk champ Rey Guevarra. Forrester participated in the 2016 event and lost in the first round so maybe in some ways this is his redemption. But if you delve deeper, you may think that this should have been Forrester’s statement. Months en route to his fourth season, Forrester has yet to break the rotation of the five teams he has played in. And mind you prior to his GlobalPort stint, the last three teams he played in are barely .500 squads. If gutterball squads hardly use him, then an Alab Pilipinas stint may be in the works.

Jamito should savor any kind of exposure he obtains. But more than entertaining, he needs to take the bull by its horns. During his PCBL, he looked like he’s the next Vic Manuel. He needs to get that vicious side again. The 2017 PBA Draft will possibly have the likes of Bobby Ray Parks, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins, Raymar Jose, Jason Perkins, Rey Nambatac, and others so from here on out, he needs to act fast in securing a rotation spot.

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