PHL duo of Manzo & Reyes solid in Malaysian pro league debut

Jun Manzo and Jai Reyes proved they are worth the hype in Malaysia (KL ASEEL Facebook account)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Former Philippine collegiate superstars Jun Manzo and Jai Reyes took the Major Basketball League (MBL) Malaysia by storm in their very first game on November 17, 2022.

Acquired by the KL Aseel basketball club as their imports in the ongoing MBL season, the duo of Manzo and Reyes combined for 41 points to help their team cruise past the Sunrise Youngsters, 92-70.

Reyes, Ateneo de Manila University’s former star point guard, made it rain in Malaysia and finished the game with 23 big points and five rebounds.

It was Reyes who took over in the third quarter for KL Aseel as the savvy veteran took matters into his own hands.

Reyes went unconscious in that stretch and was also the one who put the Youngsters’ big men in foul trouble early in the final frame.

“I haven’t played competitive basketball since 2020. Ever since I started Filbasket, I took on more of a management role in the league. I just miss playing, man,” said Reyes.

Meanwhile, Manzo, Juan Gomez de Liaño’s backcourt tandem during their glory days with the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, also shot the lights out after contributing 18 points, two assists, and a rebound.

The former Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) veteran had an efficient shooting from the field and sank eight out of his 14 total attempts.

It was an explosive outing for the KL Aseel when both Reyes and Manzo were in their zone hitting their shots and were responsible for pushing the lead to as many as 24 points.

Aside from Manzo and Reyes, Jeff Viernes, a former MPBL All-Star, also flew to MBL Malaysia and is a part of the NS Matrix’s coaching staff.