MANILA, Philippines – Jordan Heading and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) are now in good terms as he reunited with Gilas Pilipinas for the first time in over a year.
Heading on Thursday, February 16, joined the national team in its practice for the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers after he and the SBP buried the hatchet over their contract dispute.
“The reconciliation with SBP went really smooth,” Heading said through an Instagram exchange.
“We both understand that things happen and we all wanted to move on. There is no bad blood there or anything at all. We are all just focused on this upcoming window, and more importantly, the World Cup!”
Heading last played for Gilas in the King Abdullah Cup in August 2021.
The Filipino-Australian sharpshooter signed with the Taichung Suns in October 2021, but the SBP questioned the validity of his deal with the Taiwan squad considering he had a live contract with the national team.
Picked first in the special Gilas round of the 2021 PBA Draft by Terrafirma, Heading agreed to be loaned to the national squad. (READ: Heading for Gilas again? SBP keeps door open to Taiwan star)
Still, Heading went on to star for Taichung and helped the Suns reach the finals of the inaugural T1 League season before he decided to take his act to the Japan B. League and play for the Nagasaki Velca in the second division.
Missing several international tournaments over the past year, including the Southeast Asian Games, FIBA Asia Cup, and the first five windows of the Asian Qualifiers, Heading finally received the call to return to the pool.
Aside from Heading, the Nationals also welcomed back his fellow B. League standouts Dwight Ramos and brothers Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena.
“First day of practice with Gilas was great! Really fun getting back together with the guys and meeting some guys I had not had the chance to meet yet,” Heading said.
Heading looks to crack the roster as the country hosts Lebanon and Jordan in a pair of home games on February 24 and 27, respectively, at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. – Rappler.com
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