To kick off 2014, The LaSallian brings to you five athletes that you may have heard about over the duration of the year gone by for their accomplishments in their respective sports. Despite their impressive body of work though, these five Lasallians have barely scratched the surface, and they are poised to have a breakout campaign during the year 2014. If you haven’t heard of these athletes, it’s time to take note because they just might become the next big Lasallian superstar.
Around 45 minutes to go before the DLSU Green Archers hit the floor, Gabby Reyes is one of the first ones in the gym, shooting jumpers from different areas on the court, working up a sweat before the rest of the team arrives.
The first one in, and perhaps even the last one out. This kind of work ethic is quite similar to that of one of the greatest to play the game, someone whom he coincidentally idolized growing up.
“I really like Michael Jordan since he was the best on both ends of the floor,” he says when asked who he wanted to mould his game after. “He won defensive player awards, multiple MVPs, and scoring titles, overall the greatest player ever.”
The game of basketball has been a huge part of Reyes’ life, first picking up the ball at the age of two. Organized basketball came at a much later time, with him joining the varsity at PAREF Southridge School in Grade 4. After a quick stint with the RP Youth team, he went on to play for the De La Salle Zobel Junior Archers in high school where both his game and his reputation as a high flyer grew. After high school, Gabby went on to suit up for the Green Archers and now after his second year, he feels he’s come a long way.
“During the summer I worked on my overall shooting, and my defense,” Reyes says, adding that he became more confident with a year under his belt.
The two seasons spent as a Green Archer were definitely a learning experience for Reyes, as he was under the tutelage of two different coaches, Gee Abanilla and Juno Sauler. As with everyone outside of the team, the sudden change in coaching came as a shock to him but with the season right around the corner, he had no choice but to adjust.
“As soon as my second year started, we had the same coach [Abanilla] during the pre-season, and I was able to perform a bit better than I usually play,” the Green Archer says. “Then coming into the [UAAP] season of my second year, [with] a new coach [Sauler], I had to again adjust how I play and stuff cause yun nga it was like back to zero with a new coach so yeah it was pretty tough.”
A championship solidified DLSU’s status as the top team in the UAAP and gave Reyes something he had been pursuing even back in Zobel, a championship. Despite finally winning a championship, he’s already preparing himself for the next season, a mind-set he shares with the man dubbed “His Airness”.
“For next year, I gotta work on more of my defense, and yeah pretty much getting stronger,” the athletic forward says. “I just wanna keep improving my game every year until I reach the point wherein I can say that I improved a lot.”