Long-time Gilas Pilipinas Men veteran Gabe Norwood expressed how proud he was of the younger players in the Philippines’ 2019 FIBA World Cup line-up in an interview with ESPN5’s JC Ansis.
The national team’s captain said he is “extremely proud” of players like CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, Kiefer Ravena, Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, and Raymond Almazan, all first timers in the international meet.
Norwood added he feels frustrated for them, since they did not have the same experience they had in 2014 when Gilas put on a terrific show that earned them the respect of the international basketball community.
“It’s one of those things that the frustrations set in because they didn’t get the same opportunity that we got in 2014,” said Norwood.”It sucks that they were kind of thrown into this situation but they handled it like pros.”
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters wing man also advised them to just feel the pain and turn it into motivation for future competitions.
“Let the hurt hurt. Don’t just brush it off like it wasy nothing. As long as they stay confident in one another and themselves, I think they will be okay,” he said.
Norwood admitted the lack of preparation also played a big part in the dismal campaign, where Gilas lost all 5 games by an average margin of 29.4 points.
“Preparation is key. You’re looking for teams that has been together for months and months, if not … Iran has been together for years. Preparation is huge. If this was a regular training camp, we’d be halfway through right now,” he said.
Asked if he will hang his Gilas jersey for good, Norwood said he’d rather play it day by day, as his future is uncertain.
“I don’t know. The way I played in this tournament probably does not help my argument at all,” shared Norwood. “I let a lot of people down. It’s painful to be in this situation, not being able to contribute the way I wanted to. It is what it is, but we will see. If I’m healthy and still an asset (then yes).”