NLEX players who are also part of Smart Gilas-Pilipinas 2.0 don’t find it hard adjusting to the system of national coach Chot Reyes as they prepare for the country’s campaign in the 24th Dubai Invitational basketball tournament that kicks off next week.
“Pareho lang (and sistena) kaya hindi kami nahihirapan,” bared guard RR Garcia. “Isa lang naman ang sistema.”
The Far Eastern University stalwart is one of the players from the PBA D-League powerhouse who are also members of the national cadet pool tapped by Reyes to reinforce Gilas for the January 10-19 tournament.
Other NLEX players in the team are Garvo Lanete, Matthew Ganuelas, Jake Pascual, Kevin Alas, Greg Slaughter, and Ronald Pascual.
Naturalized player Marcus Douthit, new Fil-Am recruit Justin Melton, and pros Ronjay Buenafe, KG Canaleta, and Jay-R Reyes make up the rest of the Gilas squad.
NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez also expressed the same sentiment as Garcia, stressing the dribble drive offense being applied by Reyes at Gilas is also the same system being used by the Road Warriors.
“Actually, we at NLEX are also running the dribble drive system,” Fernandez said. “But it’s not as extensive as coach Chot's. At least, may alam na sila when they go sa Smart Gilas.”
With their familiarity with the system, Fernandez is also confident the NLEX players will also excel playing for Smart Gilas.
“All NLEX players are excellent ball players,” Fernandez said. “I’m confident that they can adjust to coach Chot’s system.”