23 June 2015,
Green Sun Hotel,
Chot Reyes has just emerged from the elevator, and was having a conversation with scribes after the launch of “Rise,” which is a first ever reality documentary and basketball development program supported by Nike.
The current head of Sports5, TV5’s sports division, was having a conversation with me and Spin.ph editor-in-chief Dodo Catacutan as we were about to leave the building.
(Chot Reyes during the launch of “Rise” with Nike Philippine country marketing manager Patrick Reyes (center) and Jimmy Alapag).- Photo taken by me.
While Mr. Catacutan was asking about the current national under-23 basketball team which just won the Southeast Asian Games gold medal, I had other things in mind.
(Coach Chot Reyes watches the San Beda Red Lions in action during the finals of the recent FilOil-Flying V cagefest)- photo courtesy of FilOil-Flying V Facebook account.
His son Isaiah Gilbert “Ice” Reyes was on my mind.
You see Ice just made it to team A of the San Beda Red Lions.
(The San Beda Red Lions celebrated winning the 2015 FilOil-Flying V crown. Ice Reyes (12) is in the photo).photo courtesy of FilOil-Flying V Facebook account.
And he will see action in the coming season 91 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament, which gets going this Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Chot expressed his happiness about the development.
(Last season’s batch of Red Lions with former coach Boyet Fernandez).
“This is a testimony of his hard work and patience. He made it to Team A on his final year. I congratulate him,” remarked Chot before he entered a waiting vehicle at the driveway.
After answering some queries made by Mr. Catacutan, he describes Ice’s game more as a defensive player, and not as a shooter.
(Olaide Adeogun (10) in a possession battle with La Salle’s Jason Perkins)-photo courtesy of FilOil-Flying V Facebook account.
“He’s not a shooter. He’s more of a defensive player like his mother,” said Chot, who used to coach the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national team.
Ice’s entry into the Red Lions’ comes following a two-year wait, and after making his debut in an off-season cagefest, 11th Fr. Martin Division 2 Cup cagefest, in 2013.
(Nichole Sorela(16) harasses the ball carrier from La Salle, Jeron Teng))-photo courtesy of FilOil-Flying V Facebook account.
Unfortunately, as the San Beda Red Lions meets host Mapua in the opener at 1 p.m. , Chot won’t be able to have the pleasure of watching Ice play his first game with Team A.
Not like in past games when he was in team B, and in high school when Ice was still the Jamike Jarin-coached Ateneo Blue Eaglets.
This Saturday, Chot will be in Dagupan with Jimmy Alapag for the start of the “Rise” program, and he will actively taking part in the tryouts.
(Roldan Sara (left) tries to dribble past Thomas Torres).photo courtesy of FilOil-Flying V Facebook account.
And hopefully, that will be the only game he will miss.
During the six-week program, 12 male and 12 female players will be chosen, and the selected the athletes will try out the latest product innovations, as well as have access to professional training through coaches and athletes.
- Ice Reyes’ new journey with the Red Lions
As Ice joins the team, the reigning five-time champion San Beda College Red Lions will be raring to go for another crown in the coming season.
“If I rate it, we’re 70 percent ready,” said new coach Jamike Jarin, who added that he has an almost intact roster in Season 91.
(Roldan Sara falls during a possessiob battle with La Salle’s Jeron Teng).photo courtesy of FilOil-Flying V Facebook account.
The Red Lions are returning with the core of Art Dela Cruz, Ola Adeogun, and the country’s best pure point guard, Baser Amer still in the mix.
And their presence is expected to boost the Red Lions’ bid for a record-breaking attempt to claim six championships in a row.
The Big Three of Mendiola are said to be responsible for 52.2% of the team’s output, with Adeogun averaging16.1 points and 11.5 rebounds.
He is one of only five players who average on double-double last year.
Adeogun has done a lot for a Red Lions team that has surprisingly shot only 25% in field goals compared to previous seasons.
On the other hand, de la Cruz was efficient when he shot 46% and hauled down 9.4 rebounds an outing.
Their efforts provided support to a struggling Amer, who hit only at a 35.8% clip overall.
The team will make adjustments with the loss of Anthony Semerad who shot a blistering 41% in field goals.
Kyle Pascual, who got a championship for every year he played, has also graduated and will be leaving a big question mark as to who will give Adeogun a breather but still produce in short bursts.
There are four players from team B will most likely be tapped to fill in vacancies in the roster of the Red Lions.
Six-foot-six Donald Pierre Tankoua, a Cameroonian big man, will be among the four cagers whom Jarin is considering to elevate from team B to Team A, and play for the squad.
Tankoua, who spent a lot of time developing his game in Team B over the last two year, is being eyed to come aboard.
There’s wingmen Amiel Soberano, Jeremer Cabanag, Jose Presbiterio, and another guard, which is Ice Reyes.
Cabanag is from Laguna, and Presbiterio comes from Ateneo de Davao.
All four have been lined up in the Red Lions’ games in pre-season tournaments, and because of this, the team is almost ready for action.
Jarin said he can’t accept members of the six-peat junior champion San Beda Red Cubs yet because they need time to develop their game.
“It would be better if they get matured in their games first before I take them in,” he explained.
Some of the Red Cubs have left elsewhere, with key player Andrei Caracut moving to the La Salle Green Archers.
Teammates Evan Furaque and Norrish Decapia are with the University of Santo Tomas Tigers, and the likes of Marc Joper Diputado is trying his luck with the National University Bulldogs.