With just 10 days to go before the announcement of the Gilas Pilipinas team that will compete in 2017 SEABA Championship, head coach Chot Reyes continues to stress that no one from the pool has secured their spot yet — well, except for Andray Blatche.
But if there’s one player that has impressed coach Chot, it’s 25-year-old Meralco Bolts rookie Ed Daquioag.
“There’s been great improvements from a lot but I think the standout has been Ed Daquioag,” the eight-time PBA champion coach shared on Tuesday evening at the Meralco Gym.
And being part of the program has helped the native of Dingras, Ilocos Norte build both his confidence and his game.
“From the time he first stepped in and the way he has been playing and moving now — just in his body language, he has confidence and the way he has been shooting three-points — he has added that to his game,” the five-time Coach of the Year furthered.
This season, the product of the University of Santo Tomas basketball program is averaging 6.5 points on 43.8 percent shooting to go along with 1.2 assists. But his improvements have now been noticed even by the Meralco staff.
“[Gilas assistant coach] Jimmy [Alapag’s] been telling me is that the confidence he has gained here in Gilas is spilling over to the way he is playing in Meralco,” Reyes shared.
“If you’re going to ask me, all of the new guys are improving. But I think the standout is Ed Daquioag.”
According to Reyes, they have always had their eyes on bringing Daquioag to the pool ever since his days with the Growling Tigers. During his collegiate days, Daquioag helped steer the Growling Tigers to three silver finishes.
The only question to his game, though, was his three-point shooting, currently 34.8 percent from distance.
“We’ve always liked his game. He is a combo guard that can play both the point and the two. The question really was how deadly he can be from the three-point line,” Reyes admitted.
“He’s proving that so far and he is going to be the other guys a run.”
When pressed, Reyes added that Mike Tolomia is impressing him as well.
“The other guy that I can think of right now is Mike Tolomia.
“I think he is going to give the other established guards on the team a tough run as well,” Reyes declared.