JOSH Urbiztondo said he is ready for a call-up in the PBA after he finishes his stint with the Singapore Slingers in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) this season.
The PBA journeyman said he is in touch with a couple of teams about a possible comeback in the Philippines after his stint with the Slingers, who are looking to reach the ABL finas at the expense of Alab Pilipinas.
However, the 34-year-old Fil-Am guard made it clear his main focus is not on a PBA comeback but on helping the Slingers win a maiden championship in the regional league.
“I’m talking to a couple of teams out there. But right now, here is my focus. I just want to try to win a championship,” said Urbiztondo, who was drafted by Sta. Lucia in 2009 before bouncing around teams like Air21, B-Meg, Barako Bull, Ginebra, Phoenix, and GlobalPort,
Urbiztondo admitted it felt a little 'weird' to be on the other side against a Philippine team.
“It’s a little weird,” said Urbiztondo ahead of Game Two of the best-of-three semifinal series where the Slingers will be looking to close out Alab at the Baliwag Star Arena in Bulacan.
“But at the same time, I have to be professional about it. I approached each game the same way every time. That’s got me successful over the years.”
If a PBA call-up comes, Urbiztondo assured he's in the best shape of his career, thanks to his stint with the Slingers in the ABL which, he said, plays at a faster pace.
“I’m in great shape right now. Whoever wants me or if I ever play for another team, I’m ready to go. I’m in tip-top shape. We run a lot out here than in the Philippines,” Urbiztondo said.
Unlike other Asean imports who are tasked to pile up the points, Urbiztondo said his role is to provide the veteran presence in young Slingers squad that is looking to finally end its title search in the ABL.
“The Slingers, it’s not like the other teams in the ABL. The Singapore Slingers is more of a systematic, more of sharing the ball, moving the ball, running the system.
“Sometimes, other teams expect their heritage import to score. But I just want to go in, whatever the missing link is, the championship experience that I’ve been through, I hope to bring it to the young guys. Just the energy, the defense, I feel that I can contribute in any way,” he said.
The former Ginebra guard said he is still looking forward to play at 'home' in an away game for the Slingers.
“I’ve been away from the Philippines for a month and a half. This is the longest so I’m definitely excited going home and hopefully, there will be a full crowd," he said.
"I’m sure there is with, all the love for basketball in PI (Philippines). But yeah, I’m excited to come home and play in front of my family and the crowd over there,” said Urbiztondo.