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2021 FIBA Asia Cup

Latest Gilas stint will be much more special for Erram: ‘May mga anak na ko’

With Gilas Pilipinas badly in need for bigs for the upcoming 2022 FIBA Asia Cup, Poy Erram stepped up to the plate.

Erram will join the likes of William Navarro, Carl Tamayo, Geo Chiu, and Kevin Quiambao in manning the country’s thin frontline in the continental meet.

And the 6-foot-9 TNT Tropang Giga center is relishing this opportunity to suit up for Gilas once more.

“Siyempre, every time na bibigyan ako ng chance na maglaro ako sa Gilas, blessing para sa akin ‘yun at sa family ko. Lalo na ngayon, may mga anak na ko,” said the 33-year-old out of Ateneo.

“Malaking pressure sa akin ‘yun, lalong gusto kong makita ako ng mga anak ko na naglalaro ako ng naka-international na jersey. Hindi ako nag-hehesitate every time na imbitahan ako. Masaya ako naglalaro at I’m always available to represent the country. Kung ano man matutulong ko, tutulungan ko yung Gilas.”

Unlike the Clark window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers though, Erram is the eldest statesman in the squad. There will be no Kelly Williams who will lead the squad.

Admittedly, Erram admitted that he struggled to keep pace with his younger teammates during his first practice yesterday at Meralco Gym.2023-FIBA-WCQ-Gilas-vs.-India-Carl-Tamayo-4482 Latest Gilas stint will be much more special for Erram: 'May mga anak na ko' 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

“Nung nagpractice ako kahapon, hirap makipagsabayan kasi ambibilis.

“Kasi yung pinaka main goal namin, yung intensity at energy consistent hindi lang sa practice kung hindi pati sa game kailangan doblehin. Kumbaga sa bar, nasa two bars pa lang kami, sila nasa four or five bars na,” said Erram, recalling the 46-point beating Gilas received at the hands of the Tall Blacks last Friday. “Kailangan namin pagtrabahuan namin yun. And then, lagi ine-emphasize nila Coach Nenad [Vucinic] na marami pang kailangan i-improve.”

Bruised and battered are the 10 players of Gilas as they have been in travelling and competing over the past month.

#ReadMore  Gilas to enter 'Calambubble' anew

Gilas went to Korea for a couple of friendlies before heading to Auckland to face New Zealand. Then just last Sunday, they faced India.

It has been affecting their practices as well, admitted Erram.

“Kahapon lang. Minsan kulang kami. Kahapon sampu lang, kanina 12 lang kasi may laro e,” he lamented.

“Yung iba may nararamdaman pero ganun talaga, kung sino ang nandun, need to make most sa binibigay sa mga player.”

For his part, Erram also has been grinding.

By Sunday, TNT would have played its 11th game in the Philippine Cup. A day later, he will head to Jakarta to join Gilas.

It’s the sacrifice he has to make for flag and country.

“Actually, Monday night pa yung alis namin. At least, makakapahinga pa ng konte. No choice, this is our job as professional basketball players.”

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

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