Mike Tolomia, Carl Bryan Cruz not backing down from tough Jones Cup challenge in Gilas debut
Mike Tolomia and Carl Bryan Cruz will make their Gilas debut in the Jones Cup. Jerome Ascano

DAYS away from their first international competition as Gilas Pilipinas players, Mike Tolomia and Carl Bryan Cruz are all pumped up to prove they deserve their spot in the national team.

Both Tolomia and Cruz vow to go all out to validate their inclusion to the Chooks-To-Go backed Gilas lineup for the Jones Cup, which begins Friday, and Southeast Asian Games next month. 

"Sa'kin it's time naman para i-prove na karapat-dapat ako sa lineup na yon," the former FEU star and Rain or Shine neophyte said on Wednesday. "First time so excited ako makapaglaro sa SEA Games.”

Tolomia is aware of the tough task ahead of them, especially in the Jones Cup, but while he’s looking forward to the experience of playing against top Asian teams, he’s not backing down from the challenge.

"Magiging tough competition yun kasi yung ibang teams ipapadala nila yung mga best players nila. So sa tingin ko, marami kaming matututunan sa kanila. Bibigay lang namin yung best namin," he said.

Cruz echoed his teammate’s sentiments, adding that he won’t let all the team’s sacrifices and hard work go to waste without a fight.

"It means a lot," Cruz said. "Malaking break para sakin to. After all ng hard work, nakapasok na 'ko sa roster. Bibigay ko pa rin yung best ko para matulungan yung team."

"Basta ako bibigay ko best ko. Gagawin ko lang role ko. Makikipagpatayan talaga ako, makikipagpalitan ako ng mukha para ipaglaban 'tong bansa natin." 

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