2018 PBA Draft Baller Breakdown: Rodolfo “Jjay” Alejandro
Marco Benitez on Dec 15, 2018 08:44 PM
Jjay Alejandro has always been known as a scorer, but he has developed other aspects of his game.Another former King Bulldog, Jjay Alejandro has always been known as a scorer. Ever since his days with Malayan College, Jjay could light up the scoreboard, connecting from inside and out; while at the same time making a name for himself as a deadly shooter. While he joined the NU Bulldogs primarily as an outside threat, he improved his scoring in the college ranks year in and year out, averaging almost 17 points per game in his final year. Coincidentally, his final year was played under the mentorship of multi-titled coach, Jamike Jarin, who developed Jjay no longer just as a scorer, but more of a playmaker and leader. Not only was he allowed to play point guard more often, Coach Jamike highlighted his leadership, designating him Team Captain in his senior year.
Season 80 (his final year) saw Jjay’s usage rate skyrocket, logging an average 33 minutes, scoring 17 points, grabbing 6.4 rebounds, and dishing out 6.7 assists per contest. He also shot close to 40 percent from the field and 27.5 percent from downtown, with almost two 3-pointers a game. Most impressive in my opinion was the emergence of his passing ability, which had been underrated throughout his career. With the ball in his hand more often, Jjay was able to create more opportunities for himself and his teammates by getting into the paint, where he showed a lot of craftiness and composure in traffic. As a result, he more than doubled his assist numbers from season 79.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
Areas which he will need to improve on as he makes the jump to the PBA are primarily his strength and his defense. While Jjay is a deft pickpocket who can swipe at ballhandlers or play the passing lanes, he will have to hold his own on a nightly basis against stronger and taller guards. That means he’ll have to work on his on-ball defense, whether perimeter or in the post. If he wants to carve out a regular spot in the rotation, he’ll have to play point guard effectively, while polishing his jumper such that he’ll have a quicker release, as defenders are much quicker and smarter in the pros -- think Kevin Alas when he made the jump from college ball. That means tightening his handles, and improving not just his court vision, but his overall control of the game.
One thing he’s definitely got going for him though is his ability to make plays in the clutch. Jjay Alejandro has never been known to shy away from big moments, and he will be more than willing to take and make big shots to decide the outcome of a game. That is one thing PBA teams are always on the lookout for.