Injury-riddled Ken Bono impresses in limited minutes despite Meralco loss

Delfin Dioquino
Ken Bono's 8-point performance on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting gives Meralco something to feel good about

RETURN TO ACTION. Ken Bono had just returned back to practice and immediately saw minutes with Jared Dillinger and Ranidel de Ocampo sitting out with injuries. File photo by PBA Images

ANTIPOLO, Philippines – If there is one silver lining in the Meralco Bolts’ 97-103 loss to the San Miguel Beermen, it might be Ken Bono.

Bono, who has frequently found himself on the Bolts’ injured/reserved list, made the most of the playing time given to him by head coach Norman Black as he scored 8 points in less than 12 minutes on a perfect 4-for-4 clip. He also added a steal and registered a plus-minus of plus-7.

But the former UAAP MVP did not make much of a big deal of what happened, saying he was just ready to slot in for the injury-plagued Meralco side, which did not have Ranidel de Ocampo and Jared Dillinger due to injuries.

“Ginawa ko lang ‘yung best ko na makatulong sa team lalo na sa pagstop kay June Mar. Actually, hindi mo naman maiistop si Fajardo, makocontain mo lang. Thankful ako sa opportunity na binigay ni coach,” said Bono, the 2007 sixth overall pick.

(I just did my best to help the team stop June Mar. Actually, you cannot really stop Fajardo, you can only contain him. I’m thankful for the opportunity coach gave me.)

Bono was pivotal in the Bolts’ second-half comeback attempt. With his outside sniping, Meralco, which trailed by as much as 22 points, stretched the floor and got to as close as 1 point in the third quarter before Fajardo ran his own show in the payoff period to give the Beermen their second straight win.

Even Black was pleased with how Bono performed despite the limited minutes.

“I’m happy for Ken. He’s been hurt and he just came back to practice about a week ago. He did pretty well tonight against June Mar—scored 8 points, played decent defense. Can’t really stop June Mar but he did a pretty decent job of at least trying to push him out of the lane. I was happy with the way Ken played,” said the multi-title tactician.

With the Bolts missing the services from some of their key cogs, Bono is just hopeful that he gets to keep getting minutes.

“Siguro, sana, hopefully (magkaroon pa ako ng playing time). Depende naman talaga sa coach yan e. Maging ready lang every game,” he said. “Malay mo bunutin ka ng coach so maging ready ka lang talaga.”

(Maybe, hopefully I still get to play. It all depends on the coach. You just have to be ready every game. You will never know if the coach wants you to play so you just have to be ready.) –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.