PUZZLING as their selection in the national team pool may be to some, the four new special Gilas Pilipinas draftees have certainly made good accounts of themselves to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) program director Tab Baldwin.
Jordan Heading, William Navarro, Tzaddy Rangel, and Jaydee Tungcab have all shown immense potential to the coaches during their time inside the camp at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, according to Baldwin.
"It is a process for them, but their work ethic is exemplary," he told Radyo5's Power and Play with Noli Eala on Saturday.
In their two weeks together, Baldwin has got nothing but positive reviews for the four.
"Jordan is a talent," he said of the Fil-Aussie Heading, who was previously part of the Gilas Youth program and in 2019 played for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas and established himself as a knockdown shooter.
"Will has comfort with what we're doing and is an immediate contributor," he added of the Athens-raised Navarro, who is certainly one of Baldwin's trusted hands thanks to his intelligence on the court for Ateneo.
He also offered great words for Tungcab, saying, "Jaydee is in really good shape and we're impressed with his athleticism. He's fitting in and he's contributing, and he has a future because of his size at the guard position."
And for Rangel, Baldwin considers him as a project that Gilas can develop.
"Tzaddy is probably the outlier. He's got a great work ethic, extremely tough guy, but he's raw talent-wise," he observed. "He has brought something to the bubble which we had through Raul Soyud and it's a banger's presence, a tough guy presence. Tzaddy hasn't had much of an opportunity in NU and Alab playing behind other players. He came in to prove something and what he might lack in efficiency, he makes up in effort."
The four were selected through the PBA Season 46 Rookie Draft last March 14, joining 2019 draftees Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, and twins Matt and Mike Nieto.
Heading was selected first by Terrafirma, followed by Navarro to NorthPort, Rangel to NLEX, and lastly, Tungcab to TNT.
"It's a process and we're just real happy with all of them," said Baldwin.