Jonathan Uyloan, who?
Call him Mr. Anonymous no more as the former reserve guard has worked his way into the mainstream. He has played significant minutes for Rain or Shine and has contributed well for the only squad he has played for his entire career.
In the first two games this season, Rain or Shine hardly missed the services of Paul Lee, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood and lately, Ryan Arana as Uyloan has stepped into the plate and played the heaviest minutes of his career.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity. He has played me before in key games, in the finals. I feel somewhat experienced now, being in the league for five years. In the tune ups, I played well. I’m learning now,” Uyloan told Tiebreaker Times in an exclusive interview.
Although he had been given more exposure, Uyloan believes his main role is to make his teammates look good.
“It’s not about me. It’s about the team. We were at our best as a unit, when we play as a team. We were able to work hard, get easy baskets. We played defense as a team. Now that I’m getting more minutes, I’m learning more. I should create more for my teammates. It’s a learning process,” said Uyloan.
For Uyloan, it’s an opportunity he doesn’t want to waste.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity. The only way I could show that I’m capable of handling these minutes is lead my team to a win. It doesn’t matter how many points I score, as long as I played my role, give the other guards, our opponents, a hard time. I’m blessed with this opportunity.”
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said that the presence of Uyloan now becoming a regular part of the rotation has made the guard spot more competitive as players know they need to compete amongst themselves to get more minutes.
“They know that they should compete amongst themselves. The second unit competing with the starters and there’s no locked in for a sure spot,” said Guiao.
That attitude also made the players more intense in practice, according to Uyloan.
“He said that the game now is more physical. In practice, we’ve got to bust our butts, Coach Yeng said we’re gonna be more physical in practice. You’ve got to be locked down on defense. In practice, it shows the overall view of how the game is. You have to practice with the same intentions as it is in the game.”