Asian basketball

Ex-collegiate standouts Jai Reyes, Jun Manzo team up in Malaysia pro league

JR Isaga
Ex-collegiate standouts Jai Reyes, Jun Manzo team up in Malaysia pro league

IMPORTS. Former collegiate basketball standouts Jai Reyes and Jun Manzo take their talents to Malaysia.


Filbasket founder Jai Reyes and former UP standout Jun Manzo join ex-Japan B. League player Kemark Cariño as the first Filipino imports of Malaysia's Major Basketball League

MANILA, Philippines – Filbasket founder and former Ateneo standout Jai Reyes is dusting off his game sneakers for a return to professional basketball after signing a one-tournament deal with Kuala Lumpur (KL) Aseel at the Major Basketball League (MBL) in Malaysia on Friday, November 11.

Joining the two-time collegiate champion on his journey is fellow guard Jun Manzo, one of the UP Fighting Maroons’ key cogs in their historic return to the UAAP finals back in 2019.

“I’m very excited to be playing professionally again, especially this is the first time that I’m back playing after the pandemic and not only that, I’m back in the professional international basketball scene,” Reyes said.

Manzo and Reyes will join former Japan B. League import Kemark Cariño, who signed up as the MBL’s inaugural Filipino reinforcement with Pegasus Brunei last Tuesday, November 8.

Reyes said the chance to play again came after he organized a Filbasket tournament in Malaysia.

“The opportunity came about when the Filbasket International Championship ended right before Halloween, and KL Aseel’s owner and I explored that maybe I could play for his team in the upcoming Major Basketball League here in Malaysia since they are allowing imports already,” he said.

Reyes last played internationally with the Saigon Heat of the ASEAN Basketball League way back in the 2012-2013 season and last played professionally with Chooks-to-Go 3×3.

“We’ll also be exploring how and when we can bring the tournament back here [in the Philippines], of course with a better offering for the crowd, and stronger teams,” Reyes continued.

“I’m so thankful to KL Aseel’s owner Mr. Kwan and his family, for inviting me to play and we hope to represent the Philippines well here, because I’m not the only Filipino playing in this tournament. I’m just so happy to be back in action.”

Manzo is likewise excited for the new opportunity – his first as an import in an international league.

“I’m thankful for this opportunity to play for the KL Aseel team, and I’m looking forward to our games. I hope you are as excited as me. Please give your love and support to our team this season,” he said. –

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