Chot Reyes bares reason behind surprise Gilas choices

LA Revilla impressed Chot Reyes so much, leading to his Gilas call-up. PBA

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Only a few saw the selection of LA Revilla, Norbert Torres, Arth Dela Cruz, Bradwyn Guinto, and Jonathan Grey to the Gilas pool coming.

Asked by some sportswriters at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday night for an explanation, Reyes, aside from the youth factor and the long-term benefits, said they could blend well with his playing system.

"From their teams, I thought they were the best fit," he particularly said.

However, Reyes admitted that he had his eyes focused on the more productive members of Revilla's club Mahindra only that the "passport rule" made them, who are Fil-foreigners, ineligible.

"We took a hard look at Alex Mallari, but he's ineligible 'coz he wasn't born here. The other player who's playing very well there is Jason Deutchman, but he's also ineligible," Reyes bared.

Still, Reyes insisted that everyone should bat an eye on Revilla.

"LA Revilla is playing very well, so that was the choice," Reyes continued.

On the other hand, Reyes also bared that he scouted NLEX's Carlo Lastimosa during his days with Blackwater and even came close to making him the Blackwater pick.

"It was a toss-up between [Dela Cruz], Carlo Lastimosa, and JP Erram, but Erram went down with an injury and Carlo got traded. So Arth Dela Cruz was left," Reyes revealed the reason behind the Dela Cruz selection.

Despite him becoming a Road Warrior, Reyes did not take his eyes away from Lastimosa.

"We have a lot of guys that we considered in NLEX. Garvo Lanete and Kevin Alas were also very high on our list," Reyes said in addition.

But on why he chose the center Guinto over the explosive guards Lastimosa, Lanete, and Alas, Reyes reasoned, "We need a big who can shoot from the outside. We've seen him taking that outside shot a lot more in the past."

It was the same reason why he took Torres and Raymond Almazan in.

"That's what we like about Almazan as well as Norbert Torres, because we're going to miss big-time the spread-4 skills of Ranidel De Ocampo," Reyes continued.

He then said in addition about the Torres pick, "It's a toss-up between him and JC Intal, but JC is 34 years old, unfortunately. In three years time, Intal's going to be 37, so it wasn't gonna work out for us," reiterating his explanation to the general public during the announcement proper about going for a young core.

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