Already feeling the pressure as part of the Gilas Pilipinas cadets, it certainly turned up a notch a few days ago for Isaac Go.
Six-foot-ten Japeth Aguilar and 6-foot-8 Christian Standhardinger have both begged off from Gilas Pilipinas’ pool for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ first window due to various reasons.
With this, the 6-foot-8 Go is just one of five players who play big remaining in the pool.
“Of course, we’re missing two great players. Both have served the national team for a long time and have been successful in doing so,” said Go during Mighty Sports’ victory celebration in the Milky Way Building last Thursday.
“It’s a major loss that we lost those two. But if given the opportunity, I’ll just take advantage of it.”
But definitely, Go knows that nothing is given in Gilas Pilipinas — especially under program director Tab Baldwin. Marc Pingris, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram, and Justine Baltazar are also vying for the big man spots in the national team.
“We don’t know what Coach Mark [Dickel] and Coach Tab are gonna do. But knowing those basketball minds, they’ll make it work and find a way,” said Go.
“I hope I make it, but if not, I fully trust their decision.”
Still, being part of the Philippines’ elite basketball players is something Go relishes as it will only help in his growth both as a player and as a person.