DESPITE the cancellation of Gilas Pilipinas' Monday night practice a day after Easter, veteran Sean Anthony vowed to continue showing up at the Meralco gym once training for the country’s campaign for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games resumes.
“Yes, I’ll be at the practices,” said Anthony when asked if it would be regular thing for him to join the 28-man training pool in practice as it seeks to regain the basketball gold in Cambodia following the Philippines' stunning loss to Indonesia in the championship match last year in Vietnam.
Anthony was not part of the pool earlier named by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), but was present last week when coach Chot Reyes convened the pool for the first time a month before the May 5-17 biennial showcase.
The NLEX do-it-all forward said he messaged Reyes to ask if he could attend the practice and add one more warm body to the team.
Of course, playing for the national men’s team isn’t new to the 37-year-old Fil-Canadian.
“I started my career in the Philippines with Gilas 1 in 2009,” shared Anthony, who was actually part of the original Smart Gilas Pilipinas pool under coach Rajko Toroman.
Among his teammates in the Smart Gilas pool back then included Mark Barroca, JVee Casio, Dylan Ababou, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz, RJ Jazul, Mac Baracael, Chris Tiu, Jayson Ballesteros, Aldrich Ramos, and Greg Slaughter.
Anthony initially joined Gilas along with Lutz and Lassiter when the team trained in Las Vegas in 2009, but soon after left the squad and returned to Canada and opted to finish his studies at McGill University.
While it may be wishful thinking, Anthony said it would be an honor to serve the county again before the curtains fall on his basketball career.
“I wanted to serve the country in any role before I wrap up my career,” he said. “If I get called up, that would be amazing.”
But even if he’s not called up, Anthony said he’d still be doing his own little bit to help Gilas Pilipinas prepare for the SEA Games and beyond.
“If I’m just there to help the team prepare, I’m willing to serve in that capacity as well,” he added.