For some people, Tropang TNT guard Ryan Reyes seemed to be the odd man out in the current Gilas Pilipinas pool.
The national pool has big names from the PBA that include Reyes’ TNT teammate Jayson Castro and LA Tenorio, both veterans of the 2014 FIBA World Cup, along with GlobalPort’s young star Terrence Romeo, a member of last year’s Gilas team that finished with a silver in the Fiba-Asia men’s championships in Changsa.
Odd man out? Not for Gilas coach Tab Baldwin.
“Ryan’s a good all-purpose guard,” Baldwin told FOX Sports. “He’s an outstanding defender, extremely smart. And he’s good shooter, he’s not a shooter in the caliber of Marcio (Lassiter) or Jeff (Chan) but he’s a good, reliable shooter of the basketball.”
The 58-year-old Baldwin said what he likes about the veteran TNT guard is his ability to make “good decisions” when the ball is in his hands.
And while some people might wonder why include Reyes into the pool, when there are a lot of seemingly more “qualified” PBA guards today, Baldwin’s got a lot more to say with Reyes’ inclusion in the national pool
“Some people may scratch their heads and say, why…? But I like Ryan. He’s the guy that I think has the kind of basketball cleverness and the breadth of talent that I identify as very valuable,” stressed the American-Kiwi coach.
Reyes is no longer new to the national team, having served the country as one of coach Yeng Guiao’s backup guards during the 2009 FIBA Asia men’s championships in Tianjin, China.
The 6-foot-1 Fil-Am guard could have been a cinch to make the 2013 Gilas batch that took home the silver in the FIBA Asia men’s championships in Manila. But a hamstring injury forced him to drop out of the national pool, just 3 months before the FIBA joust.
Baldwin is expected to trim the pool down to 14 players by the end of Gilas’ back-to-back tuneup games against Iran on June 8.
The national squad leaves for Greece on June 10 as part of the team’s 2-week Europe training, before returning towards the end of the month. – By Richard Dy
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