Sydmanâ€™s SideDefect: Boyet Bautista – Doomed from the Start
October 5, 2007 by Sydrick Salazar
DOOMED FROM THE START
Last year Boyet Bautista was at the peek of his career. He had already scored a NCAA title with the Letran Knights and is the chief quarterback of the Toyota-Otis team in the PBL. In his final year in Letran, the 5â€™5″ quarterback was heralded Most Improved Player by the NCAA. After all the accolades, one question sprints in every oneâ€™s mindâ€¦ Is Boyet Bautista PBA ready?
In 2006, his fifth and final year with the Knights, Bautista averaged 15.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 30.6 minutes â€“ a far cry from his dismal stint in Purefoods.
We all know the dead end that is the PBA. Some will become superstars while others will turn into role players. Some will not get drafted and would either push through their dreams or find a career elsewhere.
Next to LA Tenorio, Bautista was the next best guard in that 2006 draft pool. Projected in the early second round, Purefoods nabbed the prep star as their ninth pick overall. While some loved this pick, others thought this was pointless. Purefoods had a ton of point guards in their lineup. Roger Yap is their starting point with Paul Artadi and Egay Billones serving as relief (Billones was later released and is now with the TNT Phone Pals). Peter June Simon and Noy Castillo are tweeners that can both play the point and shooting guard spots.
So why pick Bautista?
When picking a player, management needs to know two things: pick a player you need and pick the best possible talent around. These maxims though donâ€™t always register success. Take the Portland Trail Blazers for instance. 1n 1984, the Blazers passed on future Hall of Famers Michael Jordan (third), Charles Barkley (fifth), and John Stockton (17th) for injury prone Sam Bowie as that yearâ€™s second overall pick. They picked Bowie because they thought they donâ€™t need another slasher since they already have Clyde Drexler. In 2007, despite the advent of LaMarcus Aldridgeâ€™s game, they picked another big man in Greg Oden instead of the athletically gifted Kevin Durant. While this was a good pick, Oden suffered an injury that will sideline him for an entire NBA season.
Purefoods lacked height. Kerby Raymundo has become a mainstay in the Philippine Team while Jondan Salvador, Jun Limpot, Eddie Laure (later waived and sent to Alaska) and Richard Yee played hurt. The team had to pluck Arnold Gamboa from the reserve list and give him rare minutes. Purefoods could have done better if they chose Abby Santos, who at that point was literally the best big man left in the draft. Purefoods could have also switched the pick for a reliable big man. There are a ton of PBA players desperately languishing as bench warmers or free agents.
As fate will have it, Bautista suffered the same doom.
He played little in the Philippine Cup and was nudged to the reserved list during the Fiesta Cup. Despite all the injuries of their frontcourt, he still couldnâ€™t tally playing time. This upcoming season, the Purefoods Giants refurnished their lineup, trading Paul Artadi, not re-signing Jun Limpot, and adding a flock of new additions. The Giants took home the preseason tourney, besting the now-christened Magnolia (I refuse to include Beverage) Masters in a winner-take-all affair.
The Giants played somewhat new addition Romel Adducul, neophyte Chico Lanete, and free agent pickup Rob Sanz.
But where is Boyet Bautista?
Bautista is said to be waived (or demoted to SMCâ€™s PBL farm team Magnolia. The team name might change), recently making the cut as part of the Harbour Centre-backed SEA Games team comprised of two-time PBL MVP Jason Castro, Gabe Norwood (?), Allan Salangsang, and a slew of college standouts. However it is still uncertain if Bautista has been taken out of the roster. But from the looks of things, his name affiliate with a PBL squad simply states his freedom to play wherever he wants.
So whatâ€™s next for Boyet Bautista?
Despite the fact that this is a demotion, we should look at the great points of this debacle. Bautista will definitely soup up a now-depleted PBL roster where he can lord the competition with his newfound experience. He has to raise his game a notch to make it back to the PBA. If he has yet to find a team, he can definitely take his game to Harbour (whoâ€™ll likely bid for a PBA stint next season) or return to Toyota (his former ballclub). The SMC farm team? Well looking at how they developed Cokeâ€™s Jason Misolas (when Coke was an SMC team) he can likely learn in this experience. This means theyâ€™ll likely pull him up once he shows his true potential. The problem here though is that the best players in the PBA make up most of the SMC Teams. Take a look at Neil Raneses. With the way Magnolia, Purefoods, and Brgy. Ginebra are right now, the only good thing they can offer right now is a seat behind the coaching staff during games. He should also pick teams that cater more for role players like Coke, Sta. Lucia, and Welcoat.
Anyway, is Boyet Bautista PBA-ready? Yes he is PBA-ready and looks PBA-bound in the near future. He just peaked at the right time but played in the wrong team.