Asian basketball

Reyes, Manzo impress in Malaysia pro league debut
Reyes, Manzo impress in Malaysia pro league debut

SOLID DEBUT. Jai Reyes gets interviewed after winning Player of the Game.


Former Ateneo standout Jai Reyes wins Player of the Game honors in his first game back to pro basketball as ex-UP guard Jun Manzo also delivers in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia –Jai Reyes displayed a vintage performance and Jun Manzo also delivered in their debut as imports in the Major Basketball League (MBL) in Malaysia 

Showing no signs of slowing down, Reyes dropped 23 points and 5 rebounds to power KL Aseel to a 92-70 victory over Sunrise Youngsters on Thursday night, November 17. 

The 35-year-old Reyes, the founder of the Filipino Basketball League (Filbasket), shot 10-of-17 (58.8%) from the field and 3-of-6 (50%) from three-point range to earn Player of the Game honors in his first game back to professional basketball.

Manzo also delivered 18 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, and 1 steal for KL Aseel. The former UP Fighting Maroons standout shot 8-of-14 (57.1%) from the field and 2-of-6 (33.3%) from downtown.

“I haven’t played competitive basketball since 2020,” said Reyes, a two-time UAAP champion and 2005 UAAP Rookie of the Year.  “Ever since I started Filbasket, I took on more of a management role in the league. I just miss playing, man.”

It was Reyes’ first game internationally since playing for the Saigon Heat in the 2012-2013 season of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL). It was aso his first tournament since the Chooks-to-Go 3×3 in Laguna, where his Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards team finished runner-up.

Reyes, Manzo, and the rest of the KL Aseel team will take on the NS Matrix, the inaugural league champions mentored by Filipino basketball coach Jeff Viernes, next on Friday night, November 18. –   

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