THE desire to win championships and being coached once again by Chot Reyes were the deciding factors in Matt Ganuelas-Rosser’s move to TNT as an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2021.
Ganuelas-Rosser, 31, said Reyes and his son and TNT assistant coach Josh Reyes are his mentors, and the opportunity to reunite with them ultimately led to him returning to the team that took him in after he was drafted fourth overall in 2014.
“For me, where my career is going, I just want to compete for a championship,” said Ganuelas-Rosser on Monday. “That was the big factor. And then having an opportunity to play with coach Chot again, that was like the deciding factor.”
“I wanted to compete for championship and then it’s kinda an icing on the cake when there was some interest from TNT and coach Chot,” said Ganuelas-Rosser, whose first stint with TNT came to an end in 2017 when he was traded to San Miguel.
The Cal Poly Pomona product said TNT and Terrafirma were the teams that made a formal offer to him, with Phoenix and Alaska also expressing interest.
“The TNT offer was good for me and I took it,” he said.
Valuable Gilas experience
Ganuelas-Rosser said he learned a lot when he was part of the Gilas Pilipinas cadet team under Reyes, and helped him when he was about to start his basketball career in the Philippines.
“They are like mentors. They are like family to me,” said Ganuelas-Rosser, referring to the Reyeses. “Even when I was traded from Talk ‘N Text to San Miguel, it was still good vibes and mutual respect there.
"When I first came to the Philippines, I learned a lot about Philippine basketball, even more so about living here in Manila and the culture here. It was a lot of familiarity and they are some of my mentors when I first got here. They helped me a lot.”
Rosser’s short stay with Terrafirma saw him become an integral part of the rotation, providing defense for the Dyip with his average of 1.4 steals over the course of his 15 games with the team. He expressed his gratitude to his old team where he also saw growth in his career.
“I’m extremely grateful to have played with Terrafirma,” said Ganuelas-Rosser. “I learned a lot about myself first and foremost. Being in a situation where I was an underdog and really fight for wins and try to get wins.
"I feel like I had success there especially in the all-Filipino [Philippine Cup] when we won those games in the bubble. First team ever to beat San Miguel and Ginebra back-to-back. For me, I felt like I had confidence and I had a lot of growth. I have nothing but love and respect for all the players and coaches over there.”
Ganuelas-Rosser is feeling optimistic as he attended his first training session with TNT on Monday under a small-group set-up since Metro Manila remains under Alert Level 3 and PBA teams are still barred from conducting full scrimmages.
TNT only wants him to play his usual game.
“I just had to be me. That’s what they want and that’s what feels the best about going back to Talk ‘N Text," he said. "I can just play my game and my game is appreciated here with the coaches at TNT and with management and the organization.
"They appreciate what I do on the court and the way I play and my competitiveness. That’s all I got to do is to be me. It feels like a perfect fit right now. It feels good. It feels right,” said Rosser.
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