GILAS Pilipinas may not have drawn a perfect attendance on Monday night during the training pool’s second week of practice.
But at least give the entire team an A for effort as no one among the players and coaching staff came late at the Meralco gym amid the chaotic traffic situation around the metropolis due to the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit.
“I don’t think none among them came in late,” said deputy coach Alex Compton, who was already at the venue one-and-a-half hours before the 8 p.m. call time.
Anticipating possible traffic within the Ortigas area, Compton said he left his car at home and opted to just walk on his way to Meralco as he lives just nearby.
To his surprise, coach Tab Baldwin was already there.
“I don’t know what time he came, but he’s earlier than me,” said the Alaska mentor.
Big men June Mar Fajardo and Marc Pingris were not around as the two had a prior engagement for San Miguel, which team officials had told Baldwin ahead of time.
Also failing to attend is Star forward Ian Sangalang who is indisposed.
Ginebra players LA Tenorio, Greg Slaughter, and Japeth Aguilar showed up in street clothes as the three were excused from joining the team during the practice drills since the Kings have a scheduled game in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup on Tuesday against Meralco in Binan, Laguna.
Jeff Chan meanwhile, was also present but has a hurting tendon, forcing him to skip training and join injured Rain or Shine teammate Paul Lee at the sideline.
Troy Rosario was the early bird, arriving at the gym at around 6 p.m. as he left his home in Sampaloc earlier.
But it only took him an hour of travel to reach his destination.
“Expect ko kasi nga ma-traffic, ang layo pa kasi ng pinanggalingan ko,” said the Talk ‘N Text rookie. “Hindi ko rin naman expect na sobrang dali naman ng biyahe ko."
So early is Rosario for the practice session that he was able to do other things just before the team did its shootout.
“Nakakain pa ako, tapos nakapag-workout pa ako sa gym,” said the big man out of National University.
Rosario stayed on the court for a few more minutes shortly after Baldwin called it a night, doing some extra shooting and post moves.
Literally, he was the first in and last out for Gilas on this night.
“Kailangan, e,” was his curt reply when asked why he opted to stay on despite coming for practice earlier.