With all the constant tweaking of the rotations and lineups that the College of Saint Benilde Blazers are doing in the ongoing NCAA season, one of the most effective methods they have right now is utilizing swingman Jonathan Grey as their sixth man rather than being a part of the team’s starting five.
Simply put, the numbers indicated that Grey performed better when he is summoned off the bench regardless of which team they face. In five games (UPHSD, EAC, LPU, SBC, and SSC-R) played with the Smart Elite ambassador playing off the bench, Grey posted norms of 20.2 points (52% field goal shooting, 62% outside shooting), six rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.2 turnovers per game.
On the other hand, in the two games he played as a starter, his stats took a drastic dip as he only managed to put up 11 points (24% field goal shooting, 10% outside shooting), 2.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals and 2.5 turnovers per game.
“Para sa akin mas okay iyon. Kasi noong nagstart ako, ang sama nang nangyari,” Grey remarked when asked about being plugged in as CSB’s designated sixth man. “Pero kapag off the bench, parang mas okay talaga. Tiwala naman ako kay coach kung ano ang gusto nila mangyari.”
Furthermore, with Grey being the sixth man, Benilde only lost by an average of 5.7 points and they led by an average 14.5 points whenever they won. When Grey was the team’s designated starter, they usually lost by a margin of 23.5 points per game. So far, they were on the receiving end of blowout losses courtesy of the league-leading Letran Knights (82-65) and the JRU Heavy Bombers (67-49).
Moreover, Benilde also gets an additional boost with Grey as the sixth man since the team only allowed 66 points per game in wins while they surrendered an average of 74 points whenever they got defeated. The move enables him to preserve his energy to aid the team with his playmaking, defense and scoring prowess effectively during crunch time.
But perhaps one of the most important benefits of having him as a sixth man is making him blend in with the flow of the team’s system rather than forcing things to get going . When he starts, he needs the ball on his hands to be effective which often leads to a lot of isolation plays and contested shots. Tapping him as the sixth man makes Benilde more effective since some of the regular rotation players have already settled into the rhythm which would often take the pressure from Grey to produce right away.
“Actually last game [against JRU], napansin ko sa sarili ko na sobrang gigil ako. So, masama ang naging kalabasan noong pagiging gigil ko,” Grey added. “This game medyo relaxed lang ang ginawa ko at inenjoy ko lang ang game kasabay ng going hard at sunod lang sa system ni coach.”
Now, Benilde will once again continue employing this strategy as they set to take on the streaking Mapua Cardinals this coming Friday, 4:00 pm, at the FIloil Flying V Arena.