COACH Chot Reyes is considering Congo’s Rod Ebondo as replacement if the Philippine team seeing action in the Fiba Asia Champions Cup could not tap Nigeria’s Bright Akhuetie.
The Philippine squad is taking precautions because Akhuetie is still serving his residency with the University of the Philippines, and seeing action in the tournament in Chenzhou, China could affect his UAAP eligibility.
"Mukhang mahirap eh, because we're worried it might affect his eligibility because this is not a real national team competition," Reyes said.
"This is really a club championship, a club competition that's why we're having second thoughts on Bright."
Meanwhile, the 6-foot-6 Ebondo, Centro Escolar University’s reinforcement, looks to be a good fit.
Ebondo helped lift the team to victory over the NLEX-SCTEX side in a tuneup game at the Meralco Gym.
The Scorpions import dropped 26 points, including 15 in the second-period outburst for the Chooks-to-Go backed squad.
"I just wanted to give the best I could so the coaches can see what they can do with me," Ebondo said.
"Ever since, they didn’t really see me, like, during a game. They just saw my highlights and also in practice. So today was a challenge for me to show them what I can do."
His stellar outing didn't go unnoticed.
"We've always loved his game, we thought he wasn't available. But then nagpasabi siya so pwede yata siya in that schedule," Reyes said.
If he is included in the China tournament, which starts next week, Ebondo will have to sit out some of the games for CEU in the UCBL, where the Scorpions are the defending champions.
"I already talked with the team management, they said that it's OK," said Ebondo.
"For the team management, it is ok for them that I miss those games because they know that this one is a good opportunity for me to show myself and to show my talent in a big basketball stage."