Troy Rosario has been a loyal soldier to the Gilas Pilipinas program. He has competed in two Southeast Asian Games, while being a mainstay with the Elite squad in FIBA-sanctioned tournaments.
This time around, he was enlisted to join the 3×3 basketball team of the program. And it is an experience he will forever relish.
“Sabi nga ni Stanley [Pringle], it’s a good experience playing against the best of the best in the world,” expressed Rosario, who averaged 4.5 points per game in the pool stages. “Sa tingin ko, ito ‘yung mga kailangan natin para pagdating ng mga susunod na 3×3 tournament, alam na namin kung ano mga dapat nating gawin.
“Sayang lang, hindi tayo pumasok sa next round.”
Though the Philippines ended its campaign with a 2-2 record, its two losses came against highly-touted squads Mongolia and Canada — and it lost by a thin margin of 2.5 points per game.
The lack of practice led to those losses, according to the 26-year-old stretch forward. And they paid the price against the two experienced squads.
“Well mas marami kaming mga plays na maira-run, na-practice sana namin ‘yung mga end-game situations. Gaya ng mga games namin against Mongolia and Canada, medyo napagod na kami, hindi na namin alam kung ano mga dapat naming i-run eh,” the product of National University admitted.
“Tsaka ‘yung game against Canada kanina, napanood na lang namin na may fouls to give pa pala kami na dalawa. So sa tingin ko ‘yun ang naging edge ng Canada kaya nanalo sila,” he reflected.
To combat this the next time around, Rosario hopes that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas forms a pool that is solely dedicated to this discipline. With 3×3 basketball now part of the Olympics, he sees this as another key to enter the biggest sporting event in the world.
“Ayun, sa tingin ko, ‘yung pool kailangan, ‘yung may pool sa Gilas, na selection para sa FIBA 5-on-5, sa tingin ko kailangan din ng pool para sa 3×3.”