CJ Perez, Ed Daquioag turn from scorers to playmakers, add size and versatility to Gilas
CJ Perez has been converted from a two-guard to playmaker by coach Josh Reyes to compensate for Gilas' lack of size ahead of the Fiba Asia Challenge Cup. Dante Peralta

CJ Perez and Ed Daquioag bolster a bigger backcourt for Gilas 5.0 set for battle in the Fiba Asia Challenge Cup in Iran next month, and both are confident of making a smooth transition from shooting guard to playmaker. 

"Tingin ko magiging effective ako," said the 6-foot-1 high-flying Perez, who believes he can hold his own against taller guards in the tournament that unfurls on September 9. 

"Sabi naman nila coach, gusto nila malalaking point guard ngayon kasi malalaki rin kalaban dun sigurado. Sana may matulong talaga ako dun," he added

Also standing at 6-foot-1, Daquioag is aware that there are other point guards from other teams who are bigger than him. But he already has a plan on how to negate the height advantage.

"Sa mga international leagues malalaki talaga, so hindi na ako basta-basta aatake. Kasi sabi ni coach Josh (Reyes), mga seven-footers raw makakalaban. So siguro aatake minsan pero decoy lang," said Daquioag, who is fresh from Phoenix’s 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup title conquest.

[See Lots of new faces in Gilas Final 12 to Fiba Asia Challenge Cup]

Together with ace guard Mike Tolomia, Perez and Daquioag will play the point for the Filipino cagers, who are also undersized in the paint. This has prompted Reyes to employ the unusual pair to help run the point. 

"But it's still regular compared to the backcourt of the others. Hopefully,  the bigger backcourt can help a little bit in rebounding because our 4s and 5s will have a tough time battling with the other bigs," said Reyes. 

"For us to have a chance, everybody should help out in rebounding. Sana with a little bit taller lineup that we have, we can do that," he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros