Alapag feels sorry for Tenorio, Abueva, but says the two are man enough to accept fate
Jimmy Alapag announces the 12-man Gilas lineup on national television. Gerry Ramos

FOR known competitors LA Tenorio and Calvin Abueva, being the final cuts in Gilas Pilipinas’ roster for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament was for sure a bitter pill to swallow.

But the soldiers that they are, former Gilas team captain Jimmy Alapag believes the two are man enough to accept their fate.

“It’s tough, obviously,” said the veteran playmaker, who was tasked to announce in three batches of four each, the players who earned the nod of the coaching staff to be included in the team’s official 12-man lineup during Sunday’s team presentation at the TV5 studio in Mandaluyong.

"It’s a huge honor to represent our country on the international level, but at the same time, the Gilas pool is a family,” he stressed.

[See Abueva, Tenorio surprise final cuts in Gilas team to OQT]

In particular, Alapag can most especially feel for Tenorio, his fellow veteran playmaker with who he shared a lot of wonderful experience during their time together with the team, specifically in the 2013 Fiba Asia Men’s Championship and the 2014 Fiba World Cup.

“It’s tough for me seeing LA (go). Travelling all over the world (with Gilas), we were always roommates and we spent numerous nights just talking about the team,” Alapag reminisced about his time playing alongside the Ginebra point guard with the national team.

But in the end, it’s a matter of respecting the decision of coach Tab Baldwin and his staff, according to Alapag.

“You always respect the coaches’ decision,” he said. “And those two guys are professionals, and I know they will support the team.”

After Tenorio tweeted in his account@LA_Tenorio the hashtag #Puso, Abueva followed suit later on.

[See Gilas team manager lauds how Abueva, Tenorio accepted Gilas cut]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos