CHRIS Javier admitted he was shocked when the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) named him to the 24-man pool that will vie for honors in the Fiba Asia Challenge Cup next month.
"Unexpected ito, I was really shocked," said Javier, moments after the Racal-Tanduay semifinal match in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday.
The former University of the East standout is aware he is not among the top names in the pool that includes the likes of big men Russel Escoto, Kevin Ferrer, Mac Belo, and PBA players Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and JP Erram.
But Javier is happy anyway to have this rare opportunity to strut his wares and hopefully leave a lasting impression, especially with the PBA Rookie Draft approaching.
"Siguro para sa akin, dagdag stock rin ito," he said.
While the Gilas invitation to the 24-man pool came as a boost in confidence, Javier said his inclusion also serves as a reminder that he has to work even harder to improve on his game.
"Para sa akin, siguro I need to work hard on it pa. Ibig sabihin lang nun trabahuhin ko pa (laro ko)," said the 6-foot-5 bruiser who is known for his decent perimeter shooting.
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Regardless of whether he makes it to the Final 12 or not, the agile forward vowed to make the most out of this experience.
"Syempre (may pressure) kasi mga players dun are the top players. Pag sinabing national team top players agad," he said. "Pero sabi ko nga, I need to work hard pa, kailangan mas mag-ensayo pa ako."