ACE Lacsamana and Khiel Misa of Bataan, Arden Guiyab of Imus, and Iñigo Arellano of Valenzuela were among the four players from the MPBL who joined the tryout of the Makati Skyscrapers on Sunday, while former Barako Bull draftee Edwin Asoro is also trying to make his return to the local basketball mainstream after impressing everyone during the workout.
Lacsamana, a hardworking frontliner, and Misa, a dependable backup point guard, joined the Skyscrapers’ tryout after reports that a new group is taking over the management of the Bataan Defenders in the fastest growing regional basketball league put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao.
“We’re just trying out for a spot, hoping wed could crack the line up,” said Lacsama, a 6-foot-4 Fil-Canadian, who also played quality minutes for the Defenders in the Anta Rajah Cup before the team got booted out of the race by the Tanduay-backed Batangas City Athletics.
Misa is another one hoping to be included, especially with the uncertainty in Bataan with a new group coming in. Both players were part of the previous squad put up by the BaiShipping-supported team handled in the first few games by playing coach Jay Sierra before ex-San Beda star Kerwin McCoy took over as bench tactician.
Guiyab, an enforcer playing for the GLC Truck and Equipment-backed Imus Bandera, also tried out along with Arellano, a shooting guard from the Yulz-supported Classic.
Makati head coach Cholo Villanueva likes what he saw during the tryout attended by aspirants from people from all walks of life – from traffic enforcer and policeman, high school players, barangay officials, local stars from the barangays nearby, amateur players and ex-pros.
“It was the second day of our tryouts. There were some amateur players who surprised me to be here. There were very promising, players who can fit the system and hopefully, we’ll call them back,” Villanueva said.
Joseph Manlangit, a big man who can shoot, also joined the tryout, along with another college player, John Rey Villanueva of Perpetual Help.
Familiar faces were also seen trying their luck.
Asoro, a solid power forward and an unsigned second round pick of Barako Bull in the 2009 Draft, impressed everyone during the workout.
Rudy Lingganay, former MVP in the PBA D-League who played for four PBA teams, was also present. He dropped by at the tryout after getting invited by Team Makati of Team owners Paolo Orbeta and Paolo Pineda and team manager Martin Arenas.
Lingganay is fresh from a stint playing as import in the Thailand Basketball League.
“Medyo nag-improve na rin yung Thailand sa basketball. Yung susunod nga na tournament doon is May eh, pero I might stay na lang muna dito and hopefully makasali ako sa team ng Makati,” added Lingganay.
According to Villanueva, there’s no guaranteed spots yet on anyone as they will prune down the list of aspirants who attended today.
Sunday’s tryout also became a stage for youngest aspirant, Lance Alandy Dy, a 16-yera-old, high school student from Xavier School, who lives nearby the tryout venue.
“I just want to use this as an opportunity to raise my game. This will be a big help for me as I will be able to go up against more seasoned and bigger players. It will make me a better player,” Dy said.
Arenas, who also serves as Brgy. Captain in Dasmariñas Village in Makati, said the tryout served as a sanctuary from people from all walks of life and their doors will be opened for those who wanted to give it a try.
“That’s how supportive Makati is to our constituents. It’s the vision of our Mayor Atty. Abby Binay, Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo and Congressman Luis Campos to open this to everyone,” added Arenas.
At the end of the day, it will be Villanueva who will be taking over in his first head coaching job in the big league. He intends to prune down the pool to the final 18 and hold a closed door training session in the last week of this month until early May.
From there on, those players who will be signed up will start their regular training session six days a week.
“We’re still open. We’re going to have a closed door training camp, para Makita up close yung mga babalik. We’re going to cut down the participants already coming from the two-day tryouts. Siguro we’ll cut them to 18. Then, we’ll see it from there,” said Villanueva.