IN case you notice the new-found playing intensity in Ginebra big man Jay-R Reyes's game, superstar teammate Mark Caguioa has a lot to do with it.
Known as soft-spoken despite his towering 6-foot-6 height, Reyes admitted that in the brief time of playing with his new team, he somehow got influenced by the air of confidence Caguioa displays on the court.
“Si Mark sobrang angas maglaro pero sobrang bait,” Reyes revealed to Spin.ph on Monday. “Pero sinasabi nga din ni Mark na kailangan may angas ka din sa paglalaro para di ka lang basta titirahin.”
True enough, Reyes showed his tough side in the Kings’ 97-84 win over a highly physical Rain or Shine side last week when he was slapped with a technical foul in the second half following a second motion against Elasto Painters counterpart Beau Belga.
Playing in his fifth team in seven years as a pro, Reyes said he has felt right at home at Ginebra as he has learned to embrace his role for the league's most popular club.
“Marami naman kasing scorers sa team gaya nila Mark, LA (Tenorio), Jayjay (Helterbrand), so ako ang iniisip ko lang eh `yung tunulong sa rebounds. Kung maka-shoot man ako, bonus na lang yun,” explained Reyes, who averages a career-best 9.3 rebounds for Ginebra as back-up to top rookie pick Greg Slaughter at the slot.
If he'd have his way, Reyes hopes to retire with Ginebra, saying the Kings’ fans are the best and most supportive he had ever seen in the league.
Incidentally, Reyes will be up against former team Meralco on Tuesday when the PLDT-MyDSL-PBA Philippine Cup resumes at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Wala namang personal against Meralco. Basta ako lalaro lang at tutulong sa team ko,” he stressed.