Jonathan Grey was the sole bright spot for a dismal College of Saint Benilde Blazers campaign during the 91st season of the NCAA.
With majority of their seniors having moved on to the pros, Grey had been tasked to lead a young Blazers squad. Grey did it all for his last tour of duty with the Taft-based team. The Laguna native averaged 17.59 points on 43% shooting, 5.29 rebounds, 3.82 assists, and 1.76 steals.
However, the experience of the league’s top flight teams overpowered the Green and Whites. The Blazers finished in just eighth place with a 5-13 slate.
The highlight of CSB’s Smart Elite ambassador’s final year was arguably during the NCAA All Star Game. In the showcase of stars, Grey’s star shone the brightest, as he scored 20 points to lead the NCAA West to an 89-88 victory over the East side. Moreover, he had bagged the MVP trophy of the game.
After his collegiate basketball career, Grey immediately jumped to the pro-am ranks, playing for Kama Motors in the PCBL. He put up MVP-type numbers in his first two games in the league: 17 points in his debut and 11 points in his second game. Unfortunately, disaster struck for Jonathan Grey.
“Galing ako sa injury e,” Grey shared. “Sa PCBL naglaro ako for Kama Motors. Na-fracture yung right hand ko.”
The injury cost Grey the entire PCBL season. The management of Kama Motors retained Grey in their PBA D-League campaign with the Caida Tile Masters.
“Ngayon kakabalik ko lang pero sobrang okay yung coaching staff namin and teammates ko,” Grey said about the now 2-0 Caida. “Binibigyan nila ako ng confidence para maka-recover ako.”
With a stacked team that has first-pick Jayson Perkins, Jio Jalalon, Rey Nambatac, and Chris Javier, together with a handful of PBA players trying to make their mark, Grey said that the environment in the team’s locker room is not as competitive as everyone thinks. “Sa team namin sobrang iba. Sobrang nakakatuwa kasi hindi kami nagpapaligsahan sa isa’t isa, iisang team talaga,” he shared. “Kahit malalim yung line-up, sama-sama pa rin kami. Sa akin personally, nakakatuwa kasi sobrang babait nila lahat.”
Grey played an excellent all-around game in Caida’s blowout win against the AMA Online Education Titans. He tallied 11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 boards, and 2 steals in just 25 minutes of action. According to him, this was a testament to Rain or Shine assistant coach and Caida head coach Caloy Garcia. “Sobrang chill ni Coach Caloy,” he remarked about his current mentor. “Hindi nagagalit at nilalabas niya talaga ang laro mo. Napakadali maglaro para sa kanya.”
With a stacked team, and a deeper 2016 PBA Draft Class that will feature the likes of Kiefer Ravena, Mac Belo, and Jalalon among others, Grey is taking everything in stride and is hoping that the challenges bestowed upon him makes him a better person. “Ginagawang kong challenge lahat ng ito. Yung team namin malalim, challenge sa akin yun. Pati yung draft class namin malalim, challenge pa rin,” he said.
“Para sa akin kasi lahat ng challenge na ginawa ko, babalik din sa akin.”