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2021 FIBA Asia Cup

Isaac Go to relish first game with Gilas Men: ‘There’s nothing else like playing for the country’



Tiebreaker Times Isaac Go to relish first game with Gilas Men: 'There's nothing else like playing for the country' 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Isaac Go Gilas Pilipinas Men 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

Never had Isaac Go imagined that he will serve flag and country again after he first did so almost a decade ago. 

Go was part of the Energen Team Pilipinas crew that competed in the 2011 FIBA Asia U-16 Championships in Vietnam. That team finished fourth, though he was seldom used then.

But fate really has its ways. Last Wednesday, Go made the Gilas Pilipinas squad that will face Indonesia in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers’ first window on Sunday.

The top pick in last year’s special PBA Draft by Columbian couldn’t hide his excitement, since he’s back representing the country.

“No, I think you saw me before na how I played, you wouldn’t think that I would get to this point in such a short period of time. Now, I’m just excited to be back,” said Go the day after the lineup reveal.

“There’s nothing else like singing the national anthem for your country with all the Filipinos all over the world backing you up.”

Go, 23, believes that he got in since some players begged off ,such as Christian Standhardinger, Japeth Aguilar, Mac Belo, and Matthew Wright. Still, he looks to make the most out of it.

His plans include learning from the team’s veterans in Kiefer Ravena, Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Poy Erram, and CJ Perez, who were part of Gilas that played in last year’s World Cup.

“I think I’ve gotten the opportunity [since] marami silang nag-beg off.

“So I’m just excited to grab the opportunity and to learn from these guys, learn from the vets and take advantage of it,” the three-time UAAP gold medalist with Ateneo added.

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Gilas heads into Sunday’s game as the heavily-favored side, but Go and the rest of the crew aren’t being complacent. They all expect a tough test from the Rajko Toroman-mentored Indonesia.

That, especially after their Southeast Asian rivals suffered a 76-109 beating at the hands of South Korea last Thursday.

“Over the past few years, you’ve seen nag-iimprove na sila. Under coach Rajko, they have a program now and they’re trying to get better. They’re gonna play a tough game,” Go said.

“This is their championship game for the next window, that this is their game… This is the most important game for them. So we have to be ready for anything. We have to be ready for their best.”