It’s an invitation he won’t ever say no to.
Almond Vosotros feels honored to be called up by Gilas Pilipinas once again as he banners the squad set to see action in the 2022 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup happening on July 6-10 at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
“Every opportunity na mabigay sa akin, kahit saan talaga, ‘pag may tawag, maglalaro ako,” he said shortly after his TNT conquered the PBA 3×3 Third Conference, Sunday.
“Ibibigay ko best ko at maglalaro lang talaga ako.”
It will mark the 32-year-old gunslinger’s return to national team duties after half a decade. He was a member of the Gilas squad that took home the gold medal in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia via sweep.
That was actually his second SEAG title next to 2015, an addition to a personal collection that also has SEABA Cup and SEABA Championship crowns in what was a successful run with the program over the course of two years.
Vosotros never thought that he’d be called up by Gilas 3×3, but believes that his and the Tropang Giga’s body of work in the PBA’s halfcourt competitions was a huge reason why they’re now set to wave the flag in Singapore.
“Hindi ko in-expect,” he said.
“We’re not expecting na mapapatawag kami ng 3×3 for [a] FIBA [tournament]. Siguro ‘yung nagdala samin dito is ‘yung performance namin every conference kaya kami napatawag sa Gilas 3×3.”
The reigning three-time PBA 3×3 scoring champion is voted team captain of the squad that features his TNT teammates Samboy de Leon and Lervin Flores, as well as Purefoods Tender Juicy star Joseph Eriobu.
Ironically, the Tropa and the Titans fought each other for the top honors in the grand finale at the Robinsons Place Manila, with the former pulling off a comeback to remember en route to the 21-19 overtime victory.
Vosotros hopes that the TNT core will carry over their winning ways to the Asia Cup 3×3 together with the spitfire Eriobu, whom the La Salle product believes won’t have a hard time building chemistry with them.
“I pray na madala namin ‘yung ganun. And with me, Samboy, Eriobu, and Lervin, sa tingin ko mas may chance kami kasi ngayon na naglaban kami sa Finals, sa tingin ko mas makukuha namin ‘yung connection ng isa’t-isa.
“Tsaka may familiarity naman na sa’min si Samboy, ako, at tsaka si Lervin; si Eriobu madali naman maka-adjust para sa’min,” he offered.
Gilas 3×3 will have to go through the qualifying draw first on Day 1, where it will take on Indonesia and Jordan. Vosotros acknowledges what they all have to hurdle to get to the tournament proper, but is nonetheless unshaken.
“Sinasabi ko nga sa kanila, bigay lang natin best natin. Kasi in 3×3 naman we don’t know, kahit malakas kalaban natin, may chance tayo,” he said.
“Kasi 10 minutes lang, ta’s 21 points, wala kang second quarter para mag-adjust. Sabi ko bigay lang natin ‘yung best natin every possesssion, baka magkaroon tayo ng chance manalo.”