DON Trollano deserves a gold medal for being the ultimate team player.
While he may be hurting inside, the shooting guard of TnT Katropa was quick to accept his fate after being dropped, again, from the final lineup of the Philippine men's basketball team competing in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Less than 24 hours after being approved as the 12th man of coach Yeng Guiao's roster in the managers' meeting on Monday night, Trollano found himself axed again when Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson was re-instated at the last minute.
But Trollano isn't taking things personally, stressing its the overall interest of the team that matters.
"For the team din naman kung hanggang saan ako makakatulong okay lang sa akin," said Trollano on the morning he joined the team as a 'practice player' at the Gor Lakasari gym with Clarkson finally coming on board.
"Naiintindihan ko naman 'yung mga nangyayari kasi para din naman sa kapakanan ng team yun."
For the record, Trollano had been denied of a spot in the team four times.
Initially, he was included in the TnT Katropa core that was supposed to represent the country in the Asiad until the franchise backed out following the suspensions meted by FIBA on Gilas Pilipinas players for the brawl against Australia last July 2.
When Guiao and the core of Rain or Shine came in, the former Adamson standout was named to the 14-man pool but failed to make the cut after Clarkson was given a spot without a guarantee of a clearance from the NBA.
From a reserve player, Trollano earned a spot in the team as its 12th man on the day it was to depart for the Indonesian capital after the NBA said Clarkson cannot play since the Asiad isn't covered by the agreement forged by the league with FIBA.
Trollano had to pack his things at the last minute on Sunday to be with team on its 9 p.m. flight.
The following day he was given his accreditation and approved by the managers of the 13 other competing teams as part of the official PH delegation - only to be dropped again when Clarkson was given a one-time exemption by the NBA.
There are those who felt for him after what he went through that hashtags such as #LetTrollanoPlay and #In Don We Trust went viral on social media.
Trollano, however, simply shrugged off the experience for the sake of the team and the entire country, saying Clarkson is a very good addition to the team.
"Sabi ko naman, di ba, mas mataas ang chance natin manalo with Jordan (Clarkson) around," the TNT Katropa forward said, insisting there are no hard feelings.
"I'm happy and blessed pa rin naman," he said with a smile.