PBA: Back from injury, Anjo Caram makes presence felt right away for Meralco

Anjo Caram Meralco Bolts PBA

Anjo Caram. PBA . IMAGES

ANTIPOLO—Despite her small stature, Anjo Caram was able to enjoy a long PBA career. In fact, he’s on his 10th PBA season — spending all of his professional years on the Meralco franchise.

A worthwhile Saturday night job exemplifies why the 5-foot-7 fisherman’s career has survived so well. Caram has 18 points in Bolts .’s handling of Blackwater 125-99 at the Ynares Center here.

“I haven’t trained for three weeks. This week, I’ve been trying to make up for lost time and improve my fitness (level), taking extra shots after practice,” Caram told reporters.

“Today it paid off, and I thank God for that,” he continued.

Caram played big in the first half, pouring 16 points of his total output in the first half to give Meralco a 67-50 lead during the break.

He continued to focus on play in the second half, helping to get the Bolts back into the winning column and improving on a 3-1 record in the Governors Cup.

As expected, Norman Black was delighted with his student’s performance, even going as far as to explain how important Caram is to the club.

“We are trying to develop the first and second teams that we can depend on game by game and Anjo is really an important part of the second team for us. The fact that he came and did that today really gave us a big boost,” he said in the post-match chat.

“We were a bit hurt because he was sidelined… because of the injury. He has a chipped cone on his leg. Having him back, like I said, really helps the second team, it helps (Chris) Banchero because he doesn’t have to hold the ball as much. Anjo is a pretty good shooter. He doesn’t shoot that much, but when he does, he usually does. It gives us a lot of stability in the second team.”

What made Caram’s performance that night all the more impressive was the fact that he actually arrived after a leg injury.

“I just have to wait for the swelling to subside,” he said. “I just need to be ready. My role here is to provide power from the bench. I guess we could just make plays and share the basketball. Our hard work has paid off,” he said.

It’s worth noting that Sunday’s commendable goal was not Caram’s first. It may be recalled that he shot 30 points into the NorthPort grid in November 2019, also at this hilltop location.

“I thought about that in the first half as well,” he said of the opening match of his career. “But that’s not why I’m here.”

“I know my downside is being small, so I really need to look for an advantage whenever I’m on the pitch,” he added. “Hustle, defense, leadership. [I need] to be stabilized as a point of protection. It was all about helping the team win.”

After all, what matters to Caram is that his team can be successful.

“I just deal with what the defense gives me. If I’m happy whether it’s me or my teammates scoring. The most important thing is that as a team we are playing well.”

However, he was hoping for one more thing.

“I just hope we played more games here at Antipolo,” he said with a laugh.

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