MANILA, Philippines – Former National University (NU) Bulldog guard Froilan Baguion has skills comparable to those of top point guards in the NBA, according to his coach in the Thailand Slammers of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
Baguion, who led NU to the Final Four in Season 64, currently stars for the Slammers under head coach Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, the father of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.
In an interview on the ABL website, Bryant heaped praises upon Baguion, comparing him to a pair of All-Star point guards in the NBA.
“I will tell you, I wish I could have seen him when he was 18 years old,” Bryant said of the now 33-year-old Baguion.
“I would have pushed him to go to the National Basketball Association. He has the kind of skills of Chris Paul and Steve Nash,” Bryant added. “He has a great leadership skill in him, and has made my job a lot easier.”
Bryant said the Slammers, who have a 6-10 record so far this season, were lucky to have a player of Baguion’s caliber.
“Sometimes as a coach, you have to stand up offensively and tell your player to do this and do that,” Bryant said. “But Froilan has a great feel for the game and communications with all the players, so it really makes the job easier on offense.”
Baguion is averaging 10.81 points, 9.94 assists, and a league-leading 2.88 steals per game for the Slammers this season.
With Baguion at the helm and with local players improving, Bryant said he is optimistic about the Slammers’ chances of making the ABL playoffs.
“The main goal is to make the playoffs,” he said. “We still have a long way to go. It’s going to be a battle between us, Singapore and Saigon.”