NEWLY acquired Barangay Ginebra San Miguel big man Jay-R Reyes is well aware there are fans who are not exactly happy with his arrival at the PBA’s most popular ball club.
And while the 6-foot-7 pride of Tiwi, Albay understands the fans' sentiments following Ginebra's one-on-one trade with Meralco for All-Star Kerby Raymundo, Reyes has vowed to prove all his doubters wrong.
“Hindi ko naman sila masisisi kasi may pangalan nang nagawa si Kerby sa PBA. Ako first three seasons pa lang pumuputok,” said Reyes, who blamed lack of playing time as one of the major reasons why his numbers dipped the last four seasons.
“Pero sisikapin kong gawin lahat para hindi ako mapahiya sa kanila, lalo pa yun Kerby kapalit ko. Gusto kong patunayan sa kanila na tama `yung trade na ginawa nila,” he added.
For starters, the center from the University of the Philippines said he will improve his strength inside the paint, which he believes is an asset that factored in the Kings' decision to acquire him in exchange for the veteran Raymundo.
“Oo, kailangan ko talaga mag bulk-up. Alam ko defense at rebounding ang purpose ko sa team. Papa-kundisyon talaga ko. Kailangan ko pang mas bumilis para makasabay sa takbuhan nila,” said Reyes.
“Excited na kong lumaro sa Ginebra. Hindi ko na-expect na lalaro ako sa most popular team, pero ngayon andito na ako, gagawin ko ang lahat para mag-iwan ng legacy rito.”
Reyes bared he was no longer surprised by the trade, saying he previously read about it.
“Nabasa ko na sa inyo (Spin.ph) 'yun. Kaya naghintay na lang ako na ma-execute. Ganun naman eh. Pag nalagay na ko sa trading block, darating ang trade,” he said.
And while there are those who disapprove of the deal, two former Ginebra players in Sonny Cabatu and Leo Isaac gave the trade a two thumbs up.
Cabatu, the first ever top rookie pick of the league, said Ginebra gained more with the acquisition of the younger Reyes.
“Mas bata yan. Mas malakas. Playing time lang ang kulang ni Jay-R. Maraming kayang ibibigay yan,” said Cabatu. “Saka mas mura pa iyan tiyak ko.”
“Although `yung tandem nina Kerby at coach Ryan (Gregorio) marami nang championships na nakuha, pero anim na taon na yun. Iba na ngayon,” added the big man from Ilocos.
For his part, Isaac said Ginebra’s acquisition of Reyes only proves one thing: the team is bent on getting younger and taller.
“Mas bata yan compared kay Kerby. Isang patunay 'yan na gustong magdagdag ng big guys ng Ginebra,” said Isaac.
“Tapos sa draft sentro pa ulit kukunin nila,” he said obviously referring to either Greg Slaughter or Ian Sangalang as the probable selection the Kings will get for this year’s No. 1 pick overall.
“Hindi talo ang Ginebra sa trade na yan. Palaruin mo yang bata na 'yan, may ibubuga 'yan. Kulang lang sa exposure 'yan. Mainam yang trade na 'yan. Maigi 'yan,” added the current Blackwater Sports coach.