Reyes and Manzo impress on Malaysian Pro League debut

Former Ateneo star Jai Reyes earns player of the match honors in his first game back to professional basketball as former UP guard Jun Manzo also delivers in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Jai Reyes put on a vintage performance and Jun Manzo also delivered his debut as Malaysia’s Major Basketball League (MBL) imports

Showing no signs of slowing down, Reyes wasted 23 points and 5 rebounds to propel KL Aseel to a 92-70 win over Sunrise Youngsters on Thursday night (Nov. 17).

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

Manzo also had 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. “Since I started Filbasket, I’ve taken on more of a managerial role in the league. I just miss playing, man.

It was Reyes’ first international game since playing for the Saigon Heat in the 2012-13 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season. It was also his first tournament since Chooks-to-Go 3×3 in Laguna, where his team Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards finished second.

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

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