TNT’s Ryan Reyes surprised, honored to crack Gilas final 14
Tropang TNT’s Ryan Reyes did not expect to make the 24-man national team pool released late last year let alone be part of the Gilas Pilipinas final 14 for the Fiba Olympic qualifying tournament next month.
His inclusion to the final roster, which was announced early Thursday by Gilas team manager Butch Antonio, came as a surprise to Reyes.
“Yes I was [surprised], and honored I was chosen,” Reyes told INQUIRER.net late Thursday evening. “I’m very grateful, appreciative and honored to be picked by coach tab and the rest of the coaching staff for the 14-man lineup.”
Reyes admitted that he somehow felt like the odd man out as a Gilas first-timer who joined a group that already had an established bond.
“I was surprised when I was tapped into the pool and I’ve been in the pool before in my career but just haven’t been able to crack the lineup due to nagging injuries,” said Reyes, a third overall pick by defunct Sta. Lucia in the 2007 PBA Draft before getting traded to Talk ‘N Text in 2010. “It’s what happens to the body sometimes especially the way I play where I sacrifice my body a lot.”
Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin knew what he’s going to get from the veteran TNT guard, who is known for his defense and yet exploded for four 3-pointers in an 81-70 win over Iran in a tuneup game Wednesday night.
The 32-year-old Reyes, still going strong despite the history of injuries, hopes to make the most out of the rare opportunity he’s given.
Reyes and the rest of Gilas leaves for Greece on Friday as the team’s training camp moves to Europe in a crucial three-week period that includes stops in Turkey and Italy.
“I’m looking forward to bonding with the guys and building the cohesiveness within each other on and off the court! Can’t wait to see this team grow and evolve into something great.”
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