By Robbie Pangilinan, Sports Manila.net
LOS ANGELES CA - In a pink outfit, carrying a pink laptop, with a red backpack and holding her red mobile phone showing pink fingernails, she caught the attention of everyone in the room. It was the FIBA License Exams in Sydney, Australia. All the agents were in suits, carrying their Blackberrys and IPads. One agent even asked, “Hey kid, are you lost?” The lady explained that she, too, is an agent. They laughed, which made her feel embarrassed and out of place. Then she was one of those who topped the exam. Everyone started giving her their calling cards, making small talk with her and expressing their desire to deal with her.
She is Sheryl Sanchez Reyes, the first female basketball agent in the country. She has handled and is handling local and international PBA stars’ contracts and endorsements including Asi Taulava, Rob Wainright, Ren Ren Ritualo, Jimmy Alapag, and Harvey Carey, just to name a few. The PBA imports under her include James Penny, Leroy Hickerson, Sammy Monroe, and Shawn Daniels. For the ABL , Sheryl looks after Donald Little, Alex Crisano, Aj Johnson, Jamal Holden, Marcus Skinner, and many others. Sheryl has not always been a basketball agent. For seven years, she managed international models and sent Filipino models to Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. She owned Models Network Management and has handled the likes of Borgy Manotoc, Brent Javier, and Francis Ricafort. Sheryl likewise takes care of
foreign models for TV commercials and print ads of big names like Close Up, SM, and Bossini, among others. Her love affair with basketball began when she had a love affair with a basketball player. This PBA cager she dated was released by his basketball agent. He asked Sheryl to negotiate for him and after the talks pushed through, the player’s friends started asking Sheryl to manage them, too.
Asked if she has always liked basketball as a sport, Sheryl laughs. “I think I liked the basketball players more than basketball as the game,” she admits. “But, now I am loving the game more,” she adds. Since then, she has managed PBA Teams such as Talk N Text, Coca-Cola, Air 21, Barako Bulls and the Philippine Patriots. For Sheryl, the hardest part of being a female agent in a male-dominated sport is the fact that people think she knows nothing about basketball. “They need to take time to talk to me for them to know that I am the real thing,” Sheryl says. The FIBA and PBA-licensed agent says she gets excited meeting and scouting for different kinds of players. Since she deals mostly with imports, she scours the whole world (literally) for the best players. She has been to the United States, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, and many other places and countries in search for players that she can help shine. On the other hand, she gets frustrated when her players get injured or when their teams fire them because of a bad game. She looks up to Allan Caidic as the best PBA player of all time and Talk N Text as the greatest team of her time. Among the players she handles, Sheryl does not play favorites because she only represents people she believes in.
The almost 30-year-old female agent shrugs off the question about her present romantic relationship, saying her status right now is “complicated and equivalent to single and ready to mingle.” Still, she wants to settle down a couple of years from now. But before that, the AB Political Science graduate from Centro Escolar University wants to pursue a career as a lawyer and manage someone from the Philippines that she can send to the NBA.
“If we want to start producing talents for the NBA, we need to develop and support our skilled players. Many of them are discouraged because of height. It’s not always about the height. We need to believe in them and help them get where they should be,” Sheryl ends. #