HANOI – Marvin Hayes, Jorey Napoles, and Reymar Caduyac look forward to the opportunity of playing for the country in the international stage in the men’s basketball 3x3 of the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
Hayes, Napoles, and Caduyac are part of the Gilas Pilipinas Men 3x3 team after their mother ballclub Limitless App captured the First Conference of the PBA 3x3. While Brandon Rosser has been drawing the attention for the Appmasters, the three players were also vital cogs of the club that enabled them to become one of the most competitive teams in the 3x3 scene.
Hayes, the most veteran in the team at 35, is thankful for the opportunity as he plays for the country at this stage of his career.
“Kung kailan ako nagka-edad, doon pa ako napunta sa men’s basketball team ng Pilipinas,” said the former Jose Rizal University standout who was named to the 2007 NCAA Mythical Five. “Sobrang malaking achievement sa akin ‘to.”
“Bawat atletang Pilipino nangagarap para makapaglaro para sa bayan namin. Alam ko naman na mas maraming magagaling pero naisip ko na kalooban ng Diyos ito para ma-inspire ‘yung other athletes na age is just a number. Thankful ako sa opportunity na binigay sa akin,” said Hayes, who also thanked the PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas for the opportunity to play for the national team.
Hayes played down the role of the veteran in the national squad.
“Actually, hindi ko naman inaano sa kanila na ako ‘yung mas matanda dito. Actually ako pa nga ‘yung lagi nilang tinuturan kasi minsan may mga mistakes din ako. Pero masaya ‘yung samahan namin. We are together for almost six months. Masaya kami sa bawat resulta ng laro namin. Although hindi namin nakuha ‘yung second conference, may chance pa na makabawi.”
A new Gilas 3x3 team will try to make it two titles in a row for the Philippines.
Napoles continued to break barriers for himself after making it to the PBA as a member of the Technological Institute of the Philippines with his appearance in the SEA Games.
“Parang hindi mo pa nafi-feel na talagang nirerepresent mo na sarili mo sa Pilipinas kasi iniisip ko na mas marami pang magaling pero siguro mas deserve ko rin kasi napakita ko kung ano ‘yung capability ko sa 3x3 at kaya kong gawin. Sabi nga ni Kuya Marvs, bigay ni Lord na ikaw talaga. Pagpunta rito, maganda ‘yung pinapractice namin,” said Napoles.
Napoles said the team is out to win the gold.
“We are not here para magbakasyon. Pumunta tayo rito para makakuha ng gold. Business ito para sa Pilipinas. Sobrang thankful ako na napasama dito. Gagawin ko ang best ko,” said Napoles.
Caduyac is also making his international debut in the 3x3 where he looks to duplicate the feat of his former teammate at Lyceum in CJ Perez, who was part of the team in 2019.
“Pangarap ko ito. Eto natupad na. May maipagmamaliki ako na nakapaglaro ako sa Pilipinas,” said Caduyac.
“Dalawa na kaming tiga-Lyceum na nag-represent. Siyempre happy ako na nakatungtong ako. Ngayon, nag-start na kaming mag-scout sa kalaban. Pinagaaralan na namin,” Caduyac said.
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