WHILE there is great interest among teams on red-hot Paul Lee, one man in this year’s PBA rookie draft hopes to be as good as Rain or Shine's 'Lee-thal Weapon.'
His name: Brian Heruela.
Speaking during Tuesday's PBA draft camp, the wide-bodied 5-foot-10 Cebuano told Spin.ph he has drawn comparisons with the Gilas Pilipinas sentinel for their similar built and playing style.
Now he hopes to emulate Lee's success in the PBA.
“Hopefully (I am the next Paul Lee), I will try my best like, you know, I can be in the same status as he is, that will be nice. I believe so, I work on my game each and every day, I am pretty confident in myself and the way I am playing,” Heruela said.
“Hopefully, I can be like him (Lee) and draw interest from different teams,” he added.
Heruela claimed that he shares the same skills set as Lee especially with the way he uses his wide body in pick and rolls, as well as his outside shooting.
“Skills-wise, I play a lot of pick and rolls, now I have the ability to shoot. I work on my shooting a lot, like coming from pick and rolls and finish to the basket,” said the former teammate of reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo.
Asked if he thinks he has an edge over Lee, Heruela was quick to point to his defensive skills.
“I can defend a little bit better. I can defend multiple positions because I work on my strength, speed and quickness. I think that’s my edge,” he added.
Heruela has been making the rounds of different team practices in the PBA - and has so far gotten the attention of a couple of teams.
“We invited Heruela and I can say, Ok siya ha. Malapad for a point guard but has the quick first step,” said Barako Bull Energy team manager Raffy Casyao.
GlobalPort assistant coach Bonnie Tan also noticed the marked improvement in the game of Heruela when they invited the former University of Cebu star to practice last Monday.
“Ang laki ng inimprove ng laro niya. We scouted him before sa D-League, dati walang tira sa labas yan eh. Pero sa ensayo nya sa amin kahapon mayroon pa siyang fade away three points ngayon,” said Tan.
“Nagulat din talaga ako sa ipinakita ni Heruela base sa tryout niya kahapon, maganda ang laro, maganda ang atake, magaling mag-distribute. Iba rin talaga ang nagagawa ng D-League,” added the soft-spoken Lyceum head coach.
See highlights of Heruela's performance in the draft camp scrimmages:
Even camp director and former Barako Bull coach Bong Ramos was all praises for Heruela.
“Mahusay yan ha. Malapad tapos may galaw. Maliksi. Very deceiving ang kanyang lapad sa bilis niya,” said Ramos.
“Depende sa pangangailangan ng mga teams na unang bubunot pero tingin ko pwedeng pang top 10 yan. All around eh,” added the veteran coach. “Yes, isa siya sa na-impress ako sa mga unheralded players.”