LA Salle big man Arnold Van Opstal is thrilled at the prospect of representing the country in this year’s Southeast Asian Games, but is still awaiting clearance from his school before suiting up for the national team in the December 11-22 biennial meet.
The 6-foot-9 Fil-German, more than a week removed from helping the Green Archers win the UAAP men’s basketball championship against the University of Santo Tomas, said the SEA Games schedule actually falls on the academic finals examination of La Salle.
“I still have to talk to my professors about it (playing for the national team) because if ever, I’ll be gone for about two weeks and we’ll be having our finals then,” Van Opstal told Spin.ph on Wednesday.
But the third year International Studies major admitted having met already with national coach Jong Uichico on his possible inclusion in the national team seeking to continue its basketball dominance in Southeast Asia.
“I’ve met with coach Jong and he just asked me if I’m willing to play for the national team. So I just have to ask permission,” he said.
“But playing (for the national team) is one of my dreams.”
Since beating the Tigers during the emotionally-charged Game Three of the UAAP Finals, 71-69, Van Opstal and the Archers have had a busy week of celebration, culminating with the holding of `Animo Night’ last week at the campus grounds.
Thousands of students and fans alike gathered on the night of October 17 inside the Henry Sy Sr. Hall inside the La Salle-Taft campus to fete the athletes who brought honor to the school during the first semester of competition.