By Miguel Rocha
“Who was that kid with the ‘fro in the Gilas jersey?”
Most casual fans watching the Jones Cup or the FIBA Asia Cup may have asked themselves this question at one point or another. His name is Matt Ganuelas-Rosser.
“For FIBA sanctioned tournaments though I use Ganuelas,” Matt clarifies.
Diehards knew about him as early as 2009 when Matt’s name kept popping up in online forums. He was born in Olongapo City but grew up in Temecula, California. He played college ball for Cal Poly Pomona in Division II of the NCAA. They won the National Championship during his sophomore year.
“It was always a dream of mine to play for the National Team,” Rosser says with a smile. “After having a successful college career, a Filipino coach in the states named Leo Balayon introduced me to Charlie Dy, who is my agent now.”
Rosser sent film to the Gilas coaching staff. They were impressed right away. He was told to fly to Manila and try-out for the team.
“Coach Chot liked me enough to invite me to play with the team in the Jones cup,” Matt recalls. “And now I’m an official member of Smart Gilas.”
Listed at 6’5”, the 22-year old Rosser averaged 14.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game during his high school senior year with the Temecula Valley Golden Bears. He, then, took his talents to Cal Poly Pomona where he averaged 7.8 points, 2.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game.
“Right now I am currently signed with Gilas for two years so I won’t be joining the draft until 2014,” Matt, who is no rush to make the big leap to the PBA, shares. While waiting for the draft, he will also play for NLEX in the PBA D-league. “I’m just going to continue working hard to improve my game and be the best teammate I can be on Gilas and NLEX.” MR
photos c/o University Basketball League