REY Suerte and Jaydee Tungcab vow to work harder after being included in the Gilas Pilipinas pool, both eager to show they can be relied upon on defense and other facets of the game.
"Gagawin ko lahat ng makakaya ko, magiging role player ako, defensive stopper or kahit ano, basta laging puso lang sa laro," said Suerte, a two-time Cesafi MVP who played one year for University of the East in the UAAP.
"Malaking bagay ang MPBL para sa improvement ko as a player dahil semi-pro league ito at marami ring mga beterano dito kaya makakatulong ito para sa pag-akyat ko sa Gilas," added Suerte, who is averaging 10.7 points and 6.5 rebounds for Batangas in the MPBL.
Tungcab, who also plays for the Athletics, says brings the same tenacity on defense he was known for while at University of the Philippines.
"Hindi ko naman talaga ine-expect na masasama ako sa pool ng Gilas pero kung ano yung nakita nila sa akin, ibibigay ko lang ulit sa practice. Yung depensa ko, yung buong loob sa laro - dadalhin ko hanggang sa Gilas," said Tungcab, a 6-foot-3 wingman from Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
In his MPBL debut on Thursday at the Angeles University Foundation Gym, Tungcab only managed six points on 2-of-6 shooting, a rebound, a steal, and an assist against three turnovers, saying he still has to adjust to his new team.
Batangas lost to Pampanga in overtime, 79-82, slipping to 14-11 slate in the Southern Division, a full-game behind seventh running Iloilo.
"Nag-aadjust pa rin ako sa MPBL dahil first game ko ngayon. Pero makakatulong ang MPBL para sa personal growth ko as a player," said Tungcab, who only trained with the team last Wednesday.
"Mas mahahasa ako dito para pagdating sa Gilas, ready na ready na ako."
But Batangas head coach Woody Co believes that Tungcab will eventually become one of the key pieces for the squad.
"Jaydee is a great addition to the team because he can play multiple positions and that helps a lot on our rotation. He brings versatility and intensity on both offense and defense. Hopefully, he blends well with his teammates," said Co, also from UP.
In other games, Jeric Teng towed Pasig to a 93-88 win over Imus, while Bulacan outlasted Caloocan, 81-79.