Soyud's Gilas call-up a testament to his hard work, says NLEX coach Guiao
Raul Soyud
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Soyud's Gilas call-up a testament to his hard work, says NLEX coach Guiao

Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - January 23, 2021 - 3:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — For most people, Raul Soyud's inclusion to the Gilas training pool for the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers came as a shock.

But for his NLEX Road Warrior coach Yeng Guiao, it was hardly a surprise.

A witness to his growth from a mere practice player for NLEX to an integral part of their roster, the former national team coach knows how much the big man is worth.

"I'm not surprised that Raul was called up to the Gilas pool," Guiao told PBA.ph.

"Mabilis yung improvement niya and that is a tribute to his sheer determination and hard work," Guiao continued.

Soyud saw a spark in his career after a breakout season with the Road Warriors in the PBA bubble last year, which didn't go unnoticed by Guiao.

A big man out of the University of the Philippines, Soyud is one of six PBA players loaned to the Gilas program in preparation for the third window of qualifiers in February where he joins the likes of CJ Perez, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Justin Chua, and NLEX teammate Kiefer Ravena.

While his inclusion in the pool doesn't guarantee him a spot in the final 12-man roster for the tournament proper where they will face Indonesia and Korea, Guiao believes that Soyud will prove to be a valuable asset to the Philippine cagers.

"His rugged, physical play against opponents bigger than him will be valuable for Gilas, and he can hit the outside shot," said Guiao of his 6'6" center.

The 30-year-old Soyud entered the Gilas' training bubble in Calamba, Laguna last Friday for his maiden stint with the national team.

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