Jocson is just happy to ball

Cayman’s national men’s basketball
league is near its half-way point and one squad of note is team Philippines.

 The division one standings of the Cayman
Islands Basketball Association men’s league sees the Philippines in fifth, two games below
Silver Bullets in the win column for the fourth and final playoff spot.

Stats-wise it’s easy to see why the
side is less than .500 at 2-4. Though the team is fourth in scoring with 456
points they are last in defence allowing a league-high 544 points.

Outside of the numbers one of the
intriguing parts of the club is their collection of relative unknowns. The side
has been out of the local league for a few years and its players branched out
to form the Filipino Basketball League.

A player worthy of note is
guard/forward Mark Jocson. Historically a top offensive threat, Jocson has had
a relatively quiet season so far. He is only averaging 8.2 points, 4.2 assists
and 3.6 rebounds.

Then again his passing and
team-work is a big reason why Ding Briones (ninth in scoring with 17.4 points)
and Eric Marcilla (averaging 13 points) have excelled. Jocson, 29, is just
happy to be playing basketball in Cayman in the top league.

“I never really asked myself why I do
this,” Jocson said. “I just was born liking it. I love basketball because it’s
like life: a rollercoaster with its ups and downs and wild turns.

“Making a basket is like doing good
things in life. You do something bad (like miss a shot or cause a turnover) you
suffer for it. To get called for a foul is like getting in trouble with your parents.
If you get hurt you got to suck it up. If you do fancy moves you get fancy

“It’s fast-paced, logical, mind-blowing,
fun and it’s a stressing but stress relieving game. That is why I love it. I
just love it and I always will.”

The Manila
native has been playing local basketball over the course of his six-year stay
here. Most of that time was spent outside on the basketball association court
beside Cox Lumber off Eastern Avenue.

Like many players he feels the
shift indoors is great for the game and the players’ health.

“It is much better now because we
play in a nicer court compared to before,” Jocson said. “Then again the toughest
team I think is the Wolves (the defending champions).

“We have had good instruction from
our coach Bong Blancaflor. It’s hard to say which man has stood out the most on
the team because we really work as a team and each one of us has a part to contribute.”

A truck driver for a local furniture
company, Jocson has his sights on individual and team improvement for the remaining
seven weeks of the season.

“Like what you’ve said in your
article I played quiet in the last game that we had. But I know that I need to
step up in the following games that we will have and to strive harder for the
team. We’re doing our best in each game that we have and we practice more than