JAYDEE Tungcab knows that a GIlas spot is not guaranteed and vowed to work harder as he proves himself worthy against some of the top young stars the country has to offer.
"Dino-doble ko ang sipag ko para mas ready ako dito ngayon," he said, with his confidence boosted by the trust given by his former UP teammates Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano.
"Masaya ako na kahit paano, may nagtitiwala sa akin. Kahit na minsan nada-down ako o nawawalan ako ng tiwala sa sarili ko, naa-appreciate ko naman yun na pinagkakatiwalaan pa rin nila ako."
Being included in the 24-man pool for the February window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers was a big surprise for the 6-foot-3 Tungcab, who had been focused on the developmental league and regional pro league.
"Di ko ine-expect na makukuha ako. Nasa utak ko, sa D-League o MPBL ako lalaro," he said, with his addition to the training pool being one of the most surprising developments in this fresh start for the national team.
"May tumawag sa akin na kasama nga daw ako sa pool, tapos lumabas pa na kasama ako sa seven."
"Nung una akong nag-training, nahihiya ako, hirap ako gumalaw. Bawat galaw ko, pag tumira ako, nahihiya ako sa kanila," he said.
But familiarity with his peers did give Tungcab relief as he slowly settles in this new beginning for him.
"Sa ngayon, nagiging kumportable na ako. Magaan na ang loob ko sa kanila, ka-close ko na rin sila. Maluwag na rin ang galaw ko," said the 6-foot-3 slasher.
It's still a surreal feeling for Tungcab that he's wearing the national tri-colors, but he vowed to soon feel comfortable in his own skin as he continues to put in the work in his time for Gilas.
"Siguro konti pa," he said. "Pag nakuha ko yung laro ko, doon ko masasabi na deserve ko talaga."