MPBL: Lao ready to step up for Manila
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 04, 2018 10:49 AM
Former UAAP rookie of the year Kyles Lao is slowly making a mark for the Manila Stars in the MPBL.
Guard Kyles Lao is proving his worth for the Manila Stars.
After coming up big in the Stars’ 60-59 win over the Zamboanga Valientes, the former University of the Philippines stalwart is ready to step up once again for Manila in the Datu Cup of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
Lao, 23, said his mindset is to go all out when Stars coach Philip Cezar calls his name – just like he did when he stepped up in the team’s last win where he scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field.
“That has been my approach ever since, to be ready to play and contribute every time coach gives me the playing time,” said the 5-foot-10 Lao, a rookie in the MPBL. “I just play my game and give it my best.”
“I’m very thankful to coach Philip for his trust and confidence, as well as my teammates. I’ll just continue to play my game and keep aggressive in our next games as we aim for a playoff berth,” added Lao, who averages nearly seven points, two rebounds and two assists in the MPBL.
The former UAAP Rookie of the Year was clutch for Manila in its win against Zamboanga as buried back-to-back jump shots, including a tough step back jumper that gave the Stars a 56-55 lead with 3:16 left.
Lao helped a Manila squad to a victory that played sans PBA veteran Roger Yap, coming off the bench behind amateur stalwart Chris Bitoon and former PBA player Marcy Arellano.
Manila’s win improved its record to 10-2 in the Northern Division of the tournament, and Cezar said Lao will surely get more playing time knowing that he is capable of delivering on both ends.
“Kyles has what it takes to compete at a high level,” said Cezar of Lao.
“He’s talented and he’s really helping the team. He just needs to be more confident and play consistent basketball,” added Cezar, a former PBA MVP and member of the 40 Greatest Players.