Tropang TNT may be banged-up during the conference break, but Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao feels rookie forward Troy Rosario will play a bigger role when the Elasto Painters and the Tropa clash on Wednesday.
Guiao served as one of TV analysts during the recent FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament won by France at the Mall of Asia Arena.
And the fiery coach couldn’t help but marvel at the confidence and stellar play showed by the 6-foot-6 Rosario against more experienced players from France and New Zealand.
“Definitely, he’s (Rosario) a better player and he’s going to be a headache on whoever plays them (Tropa) because I think siya ang nakinabang sa lahat (with the FIBA OQT experience),” Guiao told FOX Sports on the Gilas rookie big man.
The former Pampanga congressman noted that Rosario made the “most” of the experience he had at Gilas, which spent nearly 3 weeks training in Europe before plunging into action in the FIBA OQT.
“I think he made the most out of his stint sa Gilas because if there’s anybody who benefitted from that experience, it’s Troy Rosario,” he added.
Rosario posted a near double-double of 8 points and 9 rebounds for Gilas, which failed to sustain its fiery start to bow to France, 93-84 in the FIBA OQT opening day.
The former National University standout followed up his impressive stats line with 7 points and 5 boards in Gilas’ 89-80 defeat to New Zealand the next day.
The 24-year-old Rosario is expected to play a more prominent role as he helps imports Mario Little and Michel Madanly and fellow rookie Moala Tautuaa bounce back from a failed title-retention bid during the Commissioner’s Cup.
TNT has had a rough conference break after loaning Rosario, Jayson Castro, Ranidel De Ocampo and Ryan Reyes to Gilas.
Veteran big man Kelly Williams will miss the first few games of the PBA Governors Cup as he recovers from a sprained MCL (medial collateral ligament) on his left knee.
Larry Fonacier has just recovered from surgery to have bone spurs removed from his foot, while sophomore wing man Matt Ganuelas-Rosser had surgeries on his right ankle and left big toe also last May. – By Richard Dy
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