Jordan Heading couldn’t be happier that he and Gilas Pilipinas made an entire nation proud following a successful campaign in the recently-concluded 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ third window.
The youngest men’s cage team ever assembled put up an impressive run in the Clark bubble. They swept all three of their assignments, highlighted by two down-the-wire victories over continental powerhouse South Korea.
“I’m just so overwhelmed by the support and the love that we felt from all around the country and around the world,” said the 25-year-old Fil-Australian.
“It’s obviously been an incredible week. You know, we deserved it for all the work that we’ve been putting in these last few months in the bubble. And it feels really good to go and come out with the results that we were after.”
Heading saw action in Gilas’ last two games. His best performance came in their second meeting with the Koreans Sunday.
The 6-foot-2 guard produced 10 points in nearly 19 minutes of play. He was one of the four players who finished in double figures in the 82-77 triumph that completed the Nationals’ six-game sweep of the Qualifiers.
Gilas’ successful showing in Pampanga is definitely an achievement to remember, especially for the Fil-Australian cager. He’s finally back to representing the Philippines a full decade since playing for the youth team.
“It’s really nice to be able to be back here in the Philippines and play basketball,” said the former San Miguel Alab Pilipinas playmaker.
“There’s nowhere else better to play basketball in the entire world, I think.
“And wherever this Gilas stint takes me, that’s where it takes me. I’m just so thankful to be here,” he furthered.
The work, though, doesn’t stop for Heading and Co. Soon, they will be flying out to Belgrade, Serbia for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
A daunting challenge awaits Tab Baldwin’s wards in the June 29 to July 4 cagefest. They will go up against the star-studded Serbians — ranked fifth in the world — and the Dominican Republic.
Despite the difficulty of the upcoming campaign, though, Heading said that the OQT will serve as a good test for the entire crew.
“We’re gonna really get tested.
“The level of competition is just gonna skyrocket. Instead of Asian powerhouses, now its worldwide powerhouses. And we’re really gonna get a good chance to test ourselves,” he offered.