MANILA, Philippines – Defense is the name of Ryan Reyes’ game.
But the TNT veteran showed he can be just as deadly on the other side of the floor as he hosted a three-point party in a 119-92 demolition of Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday, February 18.
Playing just 19 minutes, Reyes erupted for 24 points after going berserk from beyond the arc, shooting an ultra-efficient 8-of-9 clip from three-point land en route to undoubtedly his best game in recent memory.
According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon, Reyes’ 24 points matched his highest scoring output in a Tropang Giga jersey and his 8 triples are a new career-high.
“Ryan is in our team because of his defense, that’s really his main contribution,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes.
“So every time, any time that he makes his three-point shots, any production that we get from him is a huge bonus.”
Reyes came out with guns blazing from the opening tip, draining 3 straight three-pointers in the first five minutes that gave the Tropang Giga an early lead.
He then sank 5 more triples in a fiery third-quarter showing as TNT opened the floodgates and seized a 94-74 advantage going into the final period.
It was an impressive feat for the 38-year-old, who has outlasted several peers of his age and is currently the second-oldest player on the Tropang Giga roster after 40-year-old Kelly Williams.
But coach Reyes was hardly surprised.
“That’s just the kind of player that he is. He gets ready for the big games, that’s why he is on the team. Him and Kelly and Jayson (Castro), that’s why they’re there.”
With Reyes turning back the clock, TNT won back-to-back games for the first time this conference and restored its record to .500 at an even 4-4 card.
The Tropang Giga will turn their focus on the upcoming window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers as 13 of their players – including Reyes – have been named to Gilas Pilipinas’ pool. – Rappler.com