Martinez Martinez: Keeping the dream alive. Photo from Martinez’s FB page

Martinez keeps the dream alive

March 2, 2023 Robert Andaya 996 views

THERE’S life after the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Former PBA player James Martinez is now one of those players who continue to make their presence felt in the local basketball scene — be it in professional or amateur leagues.

Last Sunday, Martinez was the unanimous choice as “Best Player of the Conference while playing for the AMA University in the Cocogen Insurance -Ballout Founders Cup at the Marikina Sports Complex.

Martinez, who was selected as the No. 18 overall pick by the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the 2011 PBA Draft, earned the monicker as “Mr. Triple- Double” in the Ballout Founders Cup after finishing with five triple-doubles in the conference.

Overall, the 36-year-old shooting guard from San Beda College and University of the East finished with an average of 20.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game under multi-titled AMA University coach Mark Herrera.

“James is really one of the more dependable scorers for the team..If there’s a game on the line, I would put the ball in James’ hands and make him go to work and make the winning basket,” said Herrera, who has guided Martinez to several important games in the past.

But Martinez also excels in the assists department, according to Herrera.

“Shooting the basketball is just one of James’ many talents. But he can make the plays and pass the ball when the defense is focused on him. He makes his teammates twice as good with his unselfish plays and timely passes,” added Herrera.

Both Cris Bautista, the chief executive officer the Cocogen Insurance-Ballout Founders Cup, and former national team coach-turned-Ballout commissioner Joe Lipa are also all praises for Martinez.

Meanwhile, Martinez is again expected to play for AMA University in the coming 2023 PBA Developmental -League.

Martinez, who also played for Powerade Tigers in the PBA, the Bulacan Kuyas in the MPBL and the Bicol Spicy Oragons in the PSL, is also now helping Herrera during the regular AMA tryouts being held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the AMA University, Project 8 in Quezon City.