TAIPEI - If you're short of warm bodies and in need of a boost in all positions, it's good to have a do-it-all player like Matt Ganuelas-Rosser.
The versatile Gilas rookie came in handy for Tab Baldwin in a highly physical game against Russian side Spartak Primorye where the Philippines lost big man Sonny Thoss due to a cut in his head after two minutes and had players like Moala Tautuaa, Calvin Abueva and Asi Taulava in foul trouble.
Short of men? No problem.
Enter Rosser, the lanky Talk 'N Text sophomore with the long hair who scored 10 points on a perfect 4-of-4 clip from the floor, grabbed two rebounds, issued three assists and had one steal in his first long exposure with Gilas in this 10-day, nine-nation showcase.
In between, he switched from point guard to two guard to small forward, defended Spartak's best player and ran the offense in an 85-71 victory that put Gilas back in the title hunt in the 37th Jones Cup.
No wonder Baldwin was profuse with praise for his young gun at the end of the win, bringing him along to the press room for the customary post-match interviews.
"Matt was pretty critical to us winning the game today," said Baldwin of the 6-5 Fil-American guard who had spent most of his time at Gilas playing behind Gabe Norwood.
"We had a lot of guys with injuries and in foul trouble and Matt went out there, he played small forward, he played point guard, put points on the board, ran the offense, he defended Russia's outstanding shooting guard Alexei Goliakhow," added the Gilas coach.
"So as a coach, I really want to applaud that. His contributions were critical for us to get the win today."
Rosser's lean frame initiall figured to be a problem against the physical Russians, but the Gilas back-up guard stood his ground and was aggressive from the moment he stepped on court.
"It was tough and physical out there, but I just wanted to stay composed and keep focused out there," he said.