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Young buck Will Gozum admits being starstruck during first Gilas practice

Though still in high school and yet to pick a college, NCAA Season 93 Juniors Basketball Most Valuable Player Will Gozum was made to grow up a little on Monday evening. At a young age of 18 years old, he was given the opportunity to share the court with some of the brightest stars in Philippine basketball.

The standout from Mapua high school arrived at the Meralco Gym earlier than expected. He was wide-eyed the entire time, trying to soak in each and every moment.

“Ininvite ako ni coach Chot [Reyes] pumunta dito,” recalled a giddy Gozum. “Yung pag-invite niya na pumunta ako dito ay isang karangalan na kasi Chot Reyes yan eh and ito, Gilas nga ulit, bibigay ko lang yung best ko and sana makuha.”

When the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ wishlist was unveiled on Friday morning, the 6-foot-6 big man — who played for the youth team back in 2015 FIBA U-16 Championship — shared that the first person he had shared the news to was his mother.

“Sobrang natuwa ako, pinaalam ko kaagad sa family ko, especially sa mommy ko,” the teenager said.

“Sinabi ko kaagad sa parents ko na nakabalik ulit ako sa Gilas! Itong chance na ito, hindi ko talaga sasayangin!”

His addition was not all that surprising, however. Gozum led the Mapua Red Robins to a second-place finish during the recently-concluded NCAA Season 93 tournament with norms of 13.8 points on 49 percent shooting to go along with 9.9 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, and 1.3 assists.

Being with his idols on a weekly basis, Gozum found an extra gear. He vowed that he will continue to improve on his maturity and his game to make it to the 2023 team.

#ReadMore  Chot Reyes sees the need for calendar in accordance with 2023 Worlds

Gilas-Practice-2019-FIBA-World-Cup-23-for-2023 Young buck Will Gozum admits being starstruck during first Gilas practice Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

“Na-starstruck ako sa kanila.

“Naisip ko sa sarili ko na parang hindi pa enough yung nakuha ko so tatrabaho lang ako. Mino-motivate ko yung sarili ko na college players na sila, nakapunta na sila doon so kaya nila so kakayanin ko din,” he shared.

“Sabi nga ni coach Chot na kailangan ng high IQ dito sa pagbabasketball sa Gilas. Hindi puwede yung paulit ulit and na-realize ko na kapag nagawa na ng iba, titignan mo lang sila and gagawin at gagawin mo lang ulit,” he concluded.

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