After a day off, Gilas Pilipinas returned to the AUF Sports & Cultural Center Tuesday morning with 13 men.
Jaydee Tungcab was the second tough cut by Gilas program director and head coach Tab Baldwin.
Still, Tungcab understands the situation since Gilas can only take a maximum of 13 players.
“Okay pa rin naman ako ngayon. First of all, nire-respect ko ‘yung decision ng mga coaches,” said the 24-year-old combo guard out of Laguna.
“Basta binigay ko ‘yung best ko at motivated pa rin ako.”
For Tungcab, working under Coach Baldwin made him a better player.
“Marami ako natutunan sa lahat, including sa teammates ko. Tulad ng mas tumalino ako sa court. Dati hindi ko nire-read ‘yung defense, mas lumawak ‘yung knowledge ko sa court,” expressed Tungcab.
“Simula nung nag-traning ako kay coach Tab, hindi ko naramdaman ‘yung takot dahil sobrang nag-improve ako.”
Tungcab played in two games in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Back in the Manama window, the 6-foot-2 defensive specialist played in their first game versus Thailand, logging 10 minutes in the contest.
Then in Clark, he lined up in round one versus South Korea, playing four minutes. Though he was called up once more for South Korea round two, he was a DNP in the contest.
“Sobrang grateful na binigyan ako ng opportunity ni Coach Tab na nakasama ako sa lineup.
“Sobrang happy ako kasi nakita niya ‘yung galing ko sa bubble kahit hindi ko nailabas sa laro. Talagang tinuturuan niya kami ng maayos,” shared Tungcab.
Now, Gilas is down to its final 13 players. Remaining in the Clark bubble are Dwight Ramos, Angelo Kouame, Justine Baltazar, Kai Sotto, SJ Belangel, RJ Abarrientos, Isaac Go, William Navarro, Mike Nieto, Geo Chiu, Carl Tamayo, Jordan Heading, and Lebron Lopez.
Gilas will play one tune-up with Team Dragon this week before leaving for Belgrade on Thursday afternoon.
For Tungcab, he will still continue to work on what he has been working on before the Asia Cup proper.
“Stay lang ako sa ginagawa ko sa bubble at hindi ako titigil magpakondisyon. Hahanapin ko rin ‘yung mga weaknesses pa at keep getting better everyday. Kulang pa eh.”