MANILA, Philippines -- Rain or Shine is lucky to have had Gabe Norwood for the entirety of his PBA career so far, as he is the kind of player that every team in the league would love to have.
This, according to Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia, who considers Norwood "the perfect player for any team."
The Elasto Painters selected Norwood with the top overall pick in the 2008 PBA Rookie Draft, and the lanky guard has gone on to be a cornerstone of their franchise. Norwood became the Rookie of the Year in 2009, was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, and made 10 All-Star teams.
Moreover, he provided a measure of stability for Rain or Shine when they moved on from the Yeng Guiao era and traded away franchise point guard Paul Lee. With him in the fold, the Elasto Painters have won two PBA titles.
"Iba 'yung personality niya," Garcia said of Norwood during an appearance on "2OT."
"He's kind-hearted, you know you can feel him when you lose games, you can feel him when you win games," he added. "People would say like, the problem with Gabe, hindi siya pang-last shot, whatever. He doesn't look for that. He just wants to win."
Norwood is the kind of player who does the "dirty work," added Garcia, and never complains about it. Moreover, he is a glue guy both on and off the court.
Garcia noted that Norwood gets along with all the players and the coaching staff, but also with the team's utility personnel.
"For me, he's one of the greatest guys I've met. Wala akong mahanap na personality na ganoon eh," the coach said.
"You know, he is the guy that, like I said, every team in the PBA would want to have. Every team in the PBA who would have a Gabe Norwood would probably be a contender," he also said
"He brings a lot to the table."
Garcia has no doubt that Norwood will continue to flourish once he hangs up his sneakers. The coach said that Norwood has already received invitations to join the coaching staff of college teams, but opted to stay focused on Rain or Shine.
Until that time comes, Garcia and the Rain or Shine organization will cherish every moment they have with Norwood.
"Gabe gives you lots of stuff, and he won't complain," said Garcia. "You'll never hear him complain about playing time, you won't hear him complain about 'give me the last shot,' wala."
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