JAY Washington is happy to play his role for Gilas Pilipinas and has vowed to prove he is the right man for the job.
The latest addition to Gilas, the 6-foot-7 GlobalPort forward provided a glimpse of what he can contribute when he exploded for eight points, including back-to-back three-pointers, late in the national team's 85-81 win over the Westports Malaysia Dragons in a friendly on Sunday.
“I felt good, man. Playing behind ‘Del’ (Ranidel De Ocampo), trying to emulate what he does, filling in the spot when he comes out of the game, or when we’re on the floor together, well, we’re big out there so we can switch everything,” the 32-year-old told Spin.ph.
With naturalized center Marcus Douthit patroling the shaded lane along with chief backup June Mar Fajardo, De Ocampo and Japeth Aguilar acting as support at the front, Washington believes he can concentrate more on his specific role of providing the outside shooting.
Added to the squad bound for the Fiba Asia Cup in Wuhan, China as coach Chot Reyes rests outsider gunners Larry Fonacier, Jeff Chan and Jimmy Alapag, the two-time PBA Best Player of the Conference is looking forward to playing in his first international competition.
Washington is also excited to fit in in what he considers a very big squad.
“I don’t have to fight so hard with my man because everybody’s still in front. So it makes it easier when we can play three bigs like that or four bigs, like when JD (Jared Dillinger) or Gabe (Norwood) is at the one (point guard),” he added.
With only Gary David and PBA D-League standout Garvo Lanete as the team’s legitimate gunners, the former Eckerd College stalwart said Reyes has given him the green light to shoot whenever he’s given an open look from beyond the arc.
He promised to knock them down.
“As long as I keep getting on those (three-point) shots, hopefully, it falls for me. And when I have good looks, I just have to take them because that’s what coach wants,” Washington said.