MANILA, Philippines – Don Trollano doesn't see any problem missing the cut for the final Asian Games lineup if it would mean the Philippine men's basketball team would have a higher chance of winning.
Trollano said he has no hard feelings after his assured spot in the 12-man Asiad squad was reserved for Filipino-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson. (READ: Worth the risk: Jordan Clarkson takes final PH spot)
"Alangan namang piliin pa ako kaysa kay Clarkson 'di ba?" the TNT KaTropa said after national team head coach Yeng Guiao revealed the final lineup on Friday, August 10, at the Meralco Gym.
(It's not as if I would be chosen over Clarkson, right?)
"Iniisip ko lang at least nakatulong ako. Mas malaking maitutulong ni Clarkson para sa akin. Galing siyang NBA, tapos ako... Syempre mas magiging competitive sa team."
(I just think that at least, I helped the team prepare. For me, Clarkson can help the team better. He comes from the NBA. Of course, he will make the team more competitive.)
Two months ago, Trollano was poised to make his national team debut with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas' (SBP) initial plan to send the core of the KaTropa to the quadrennial meet.
Although the suspended players were still eligible to play in the Asian Games, the SBP and the PBA decided to send the core of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters instead.
Still, Trollano was included in Guiao's 14-man pool and was groomed to make the final 12 lineup – having been coached by the firebrand tactician when they were both with Rain or Shine.
It was until the news of the SBP "trying to move heaven and earth" to get Clarkson to play for the Philippines that Trollano's chances of suiting up in the Asiad was shrouded in uncertainty.
And as Guiao unveiled his lineup, Trollano was left out. (READ: Guiao: Jordan Clarkson poses 'good problem' for Asiad team)
"Okay lang ako doon. Ang galing galing noon eh. Anong laban ko doon? No hard feelings," the 26-year-old added.
(I'm okay with it. Clarkson is a very good player. How can I match that? No hard feelings.)
If Clarkson doesn't get the green light, Trollano might still see action in Indonesia if the Asian Games organizers allow his late inclusion.
"Kung 'di maayos, pwede ako pumunta sa tune-ups or hahabol ako."
(If it falls through, I can still join tune-ups or I can be included in the lineup) – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.