Dylan Ababou and the pioneering batch of Gilas Pilipinas had set their sights on the 2012 London Olympics, when the team of the top collegiate players was formed in 2009.
That team had years to work on that dream. Unfortunately, things did not go the way it wanted following a heartbreaking run in the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan, China.
But fate really has its ways. Several years since then, Ababou is in a position again to earn a shot in the Olympics.
With his efforts as a major contribution, the Philippines has made it to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament of the men’s 3×3 basketball event set to take place in Delhi, India on March 18-22.
The 32-year-old Ababou — part of the dreaded Pasig team in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 — definitely feels thrilled.
“Ang galing lang talaga ni Lord,” he said after Chooks’ press conference at Bar One in Crowne Plaza, Ortigas Saturday night — the night after FIBA 3×3 unveiled the teams part of the OQT.
“Kasi ang ina-eye natin noon yung 2012 London Olympics, ‘yun pala parang may mas maganda pa pala Siyang plan. Mas may chance, mas may chance.”
Ababou also confessed he feels grateful to be in this position, especially after hitting some roadblocks in his career — including the string of injuries that came his way.
“Masaya ako na nabigyan ako ng bagong life, bagong opportunity,” he said. “Along the way, natutunan ko rin mag-accept ng mga bagay na hindi para sa ‘kin, mga trials na dumating na talagang matitindi.
“Pero ang binibilang ‘yung ilang beses ka bumabangon, hindi yung ilang beses ka bumabagsak.”
The four-man Philippine team that will see action in the OQT remains unknown, but Ababou is definitely in the running for a slot in the squad, as he’s the sixth-ranked player in the country.
But for the 6-foot-4 forward out of UST, he’s just excited to see what will happen in the coming months.
“Excited lang ako dun sa mga blessings pa na ire-reveal ni Lord,” he said. “Basta kami gawin lang namin ‘yung trabaho namin. Actually our goal is to get better every day.
“Para sa ‘min, progress is more important than perfection. Progress, not perfection. Waiting lang kami sa blessings ni Lord.”
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