Ace defender Gabe Norwood said he was surprised by his inclusion in the Philippine national men’s basketball team’s pool for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in August.
“Getting selected to play for the national team is always a surprise, especially now with the amount of young, talented players in the country,” the Rain or Shine guard/forward told InterAksyon.
The 32-year-old veteran international campaigner had been initially ruled out of Gilas Pilipinas which has favored younger players as it sets its sights on the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
But he may serve the country once again as his name was part of the 24-man lineup submitted by coach Chot Reyes to FIBA last weekend.
“Coach talked to me a while back that it could be a possibility. I didn’t know when or if it would come. But as always, I’m honored to be considered,” added Norwood.
Before getting drafted in the PBA, the George Mason University product started playing for the national team in 2007 as part of the Philippine team that finished ninth in the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship handled by Reyes.
He had been a major part of the squad since then, providing solid defense against opponent’s top guns and also giving highlight-reel dunks that include his memorable slam over NBA player Luis Scola during the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
He last played for Gilas Pilipinas during the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament last year.