CAGUIOA, HELTERBRAND, SEIGLE, ASI LEAD 12 NAMED TO RP 5
We picked the best team, not the best players or talents – Coach Chot
Saturday, 24 February 2007
TWELVE brave souls. One common mission.
The roster of the RP men’s basketball team out to seek the country’s first ever Olympic berth in 34 years was finally unveiled Saturday, an all-pro selection which its high-profiled mentor best describes as a bunch of young, quick and fundamentally sound players.
Coach Chot Reyes named five guards, five forwards and two slotmen to the national squad whose first primary task begins this summer when it takes part in two South East Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) qualifying tournaments.
“We wanted to make sure that the team we picked is the best team, not necessarily the best players or the best talents, because in the end, the only way we’re going to win is if we have superior teamwork and if we have a lot of players willing to sacrifice their individual goals and interests for the good of the team,” said Reyes when he formally announced the 12 players comprising the RP squad before the media at the Grilla Grill in Libis, Quezon City.
Comprising the guard spots are Talk N Text’s Jimmy Alapag and Renren Ritualo, the Ginebra duo of Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand and Dondon Hontiveros of San Miguel.
San Miguel forward Danny Seigle leads the wingmen, along with Ginebra’s Rudy Hatfield, Tony de la Cruz of Alaska, Air21’s Ranidel de Ocampo and Kerby Raymundo of Purefoods.
Manning the center slot is Asi Taulava of Talk N Text and surprise pick Mick Pennisi of Red Bull.
Named as three alternates are Red Bull’s Enrico Villanueva, San Miguel’s Romel Adducul and Rafi Reavis of Ginebra. Unlike the 12 regular members of the national squad, the trio will not be pulled out of their respective mother teams for the Fiesta Conference that begins on March 4.
Reyes said the selection was done in close coordination with former national coaches Norman Black, Tim Cone, Jong Uichico and team scouts Binky Favis and Aboy Castro.
“We wanted a team that was going to be flexible, we wanted a team that could run up and down the floor, that could press, we wanted to put premium on outside shooting without necessarily sacrificing size,” said Reyes as he spoke the selection of the team alongside PBA commissioner Noli Eala.
The PBA Board of Governors led by chairman Ricky Vargas already gave its imprimatur to the 12 national players, all of whom will be removed from their respective teams to concentrate on the RP quintet.