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    Jai Reyes says N Ecija enjoyed highly physical match vs Butuan

    Oct 20, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    NO harm done.

    Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards are taking things in stride following their fiery duel against Uling Roasters-Butuan City in the preseason tournament of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup on Monday.

    So much so that Jai Reyes said he enjoyed the experience and it added to his excitement for the tournament proper to commence.

    "Na-enjoy talaga namin yung game na yun dahil first time nga namin dito sa 3x3. Alam namin na medyo physical, pero ganyan ka-physical pala and ready naman kami dun," he said.

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    It was an uber physical affair between Nueva Ecija and Butuan, with a total of 26 fouls being whistled between them and ending in the Rice Vanguards taking home the victory to advance to the semifinals.

    Thus, even before the President's Cup formally tips off on Wednesday, a rivalry is already born.

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    "We're looking forward sa first leg tomorrow. May chance na makatapat namin sila eh," said Reyes, with Nueva Ecija placed in Pool D and Butuan in Pool B for the first leg.

    As intense as the affair was, Reyes reiterated that it's all water under the bridge for both teams, at least for the Rice Vanguards.

    "One of the good things na dala ng bubble setup na di naman inakala ng lahat is the better sportsmanship dahil magkakasama talaga kami rito. And kami talaga yung magkatabing kwarto, so good sportsmanship naman. Nag-usap pa rin naman kami, so we're all good. Naintindihan naman namin lahat na competition," he said.

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      However, expect nothing less if ever the two teams face off anew in the coming legs of the pioneering 3x3 league in the country.

      "I guess with Butuan, we play the same style. Medyo pesky, makulit, fast-paced, a lot of outside shots. I think that's why naging ganun yung tema ng laro. Nakausap din namin yung ibang teams na nakalaban nila, ganun talaga yung ginagawa ng Butuan, they try to outmuscle other teams. Kami, medyo ganun din kami dahil maliliit kami, so medyo nagsabong yung styles," he said.

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      "Good for everyone. Masaya panoorin."

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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