MATT Ganuelas-Rosser couldn’t have been prouder for being the only Gilas Pilipinas player under coach Tab Baldwin to have made the transition from cadet to the national team.
From the Southeast Asian Games two years ago to the Fiba Asia Men’s Championships a week from now.
“I think I’ve invested a lot with the national team. And I’m certainly proud to be around with this great guys going to war,” said Ganuelas, who toiled with Gilas as part of its cadet pool since 2012.
The 25-year-old Fil-Am guard out of Cal Poly Pomona was among the few cadet players who were part of the Gilas team under coach Chot Reyes that competed in the 2012 Jones Cup and Stankovic Cup.
The following year, he vividly remembered how he watched with passion from behind the Gilas bench – along with Kevin Alas – during the 2013 Fiba Asia meet, cheering and encouraging the team that went on to achieve a runner-up finish and clinch a berth in the Fiba World Cup.
Later that year, Ganuelas won a gold medal with Sinag Pilipinas in the SEA Games held in Myanmar.
“How time really flies. It’s just like yesterday,” he said with a smile.
Now that he’s thrust in the limelight as part of the 12-man Gilas team, Ganuelas said he couldn’t wait to prove his worth.
“I’m ready to do whatever coach Tab (Baldwin) tells me what to do,” said the Talk ‘N Text stalwart, adding he’s already used to the system of the former New Zealand national team coach, who serves as consultant of the telecommunication franchise.
And will that mean trying to dunk over Iranian giant Hamed Haddadi?
“We’ll let’s see, if I have the opportunity,” a laughing Ganuelas said, who slammed one home against Talk ‘N Text rookie teammate Mo Tautuaa when Gilas played the Tropang Texters in the recently-concluded MVP Cup.
“He’s actually too big,” added the Gilas guard of the 7-foot-2 former NBA player.