Ateneo’s backcourt composition in UAAP Season 86 next year won’t be a problem anymore as the Blue Eagles secured yet another guard in Filipino-American and Gilas prospect Kyle Gamber.
Gamber, 17, stands at 6-foot-4 and is eligible to play in UAAP Season 86.
He is a full-blooded Filipino though, currently residing in Delaware, as both his parents were from Cagayan de Oro. His mother was born in Cebu but was raised in Cagayan de Oro as well.
Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin said Gamber’s recruitment was like a “hand in a glove fit” as the two were able to establish rapport with the latter further expressing interest to join the Katipunan-based squad after their talk.
With Gamber, Baldwin said Ateneo will possess an “all-purpose guard” with high basketball IQ.
“It was very exhilarating because we knew that Kyle was a high value recruit for a lot of people, but for us as well,” said Baldwin. “And to get that quick commitment was — I know it was a reassurance to Kyle but it was great for us as well.”
“He is a guy that is very comfortable with the ball with his hand but he’s also a guy that understands the game. He’s got great court vision, he knows how to pass the ball, he’s an excellent shooter,” added the three-time UAAP champion coach.
More than that, the 64-year-old American-Kiwi tactician added that Gamber, who had played for Polytech High School in Woodside, Delaware, would be able to make his teammates “better as a lead guard” given his long-time role as a playmaker.
“He’s gonna have the ball up in his hands a lot. He’s gonna have the responsibility for making the team work and not just himself work.”
Gamber, who is in the process of making it into the Gilas U-18 squad soon, said joining Ateneo was a no-brainer and talking to Baldwin pretty much convinced him to commit.
Witnessing some YouTube clips, Gamber found the UAAP community and crowd interesting given how the Philippines is a basketball-crazy nation as well.
“He (Baldwin) just explained the environment, the people in Ateneo, the basketball players, and I just felt like it was a perfect fit for me that I’ll be able to fancy their system and play to the best of my ability,” said Gamber, who averaged 30 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.5 assists in two games played at Polytech High School.
“They can expect a high energy player [whose] main goal is to win. And that every time I’m on the court, I’m gonna put my full effort into whatever I need to do to get the team to win.”