MANILA, Philippines – The Adamson Soaring Falcons secured a pivotal young prospect for the future of their college basketball program by attaining the commitment of University of the Philippines high school standout Ray Allen Torres.
Torres, who’s only 20 years old, confirmed the development to Rappler on Friday, January 14.
“Nag Adamson po ako dahil po sa plans po nila, which is long term. ‘Yung players nila magagaling and experienced, so gagaling ka talaga,” Torres shared about his decision in an interview.
(I chose Adamson because of their long-term plans. Their players are good and experienced, so you will also become one.)
A namesake of one of the greatest Hall of Famers in NBA history, Ray Allen will get to hone his game under the tutelage of new Adamson head coach Nash Racela.
Though Racela’s PBA coaching tenure with Blackwater ended unceremoniously, his history of success in local college basketball speaks for itself.
Racela led FEU to its last men’s basketball title in 2015. He also helped develop the likes of Terrence Romeo, Mike Tolomia, Mac Belo, RR Pogoy, and more.
“Marami po kami napag-usapan and convinced po talaga kami sa plans and program nila coach,” said Torres. “Sobrang excited ko, siyempre, si coach Nash po magaling magpa-ikot and mag produce ng guards.”
(We talked about a lot of things and we’re convinced of coach’s plans and program. I’m really excited because coach Nash is known for producing guards.)
Torres led the boys’ high school tournament of UAAP season 82 in scoring with a clip of 21 points per contest to go with 8 rebounds a game and a shooting average of 35% from downtown, which is relatively high for a high school hooper in the Philippines.
“We see a lot of potential in Ray Allen. Very skillful guard who we feel will fit our system,” said Racela.
Adamson’s UAAP board representative Fr. Aldrin Suan said Torres has “a caliber to equate or surpass the performance of Jerrick Ahanmisi.”
Ahanmisi was Adamson’s top scorer and best long-range shooter before he joined the PBA, where he currently plays for Magnolia.
Torres said a number of UAAP and NCAA schools expressed interest in his services but the recruitment came down to the two most serious suitors: College of St. Benilde and Adamson.
While he’s excited for what comes next, Torres is also nostalgic about what he will leave at University of the Philippines. He particularly built a strong friendship with his high school teammates, such as guard Collin Dimaculangan, who’s staying in Diliman.
“Siyempre nakakalungkot kasi doon ako nagsimula and doon ako na-groom as a player. Mami-miss ko ang UP, sobra, lalo na sa support nila sa amin at ‘yung mga fans. Hindi mawawala ‘yung pagmamahal ko sa UP,” he shared.
(It’s sad because it was there where I was groomed as a player. I will miss UP, especially their support and the fans. My love for UP will never die.)
While Torres is already a talented scorer and rebounder, he aims to improve on the playmaking aspect of his game, among other skills.
“Ang focus ko talaga is yung decision-making as a guard, pag facilitate, and yung ma-develop pa ‘yung dribbling and shooting ko para ready sa systema ni coach Nash.”
(My focus now is my decision-making as a guard, how to facilitate, and to develop my dribbling and shooting so that I’m ready for coach Nash’s system.) – Rappler.com