IT'S better late than never for Don Trollano as he fights for one of the last two spots on the men’s national basketball team to the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia, which opens on August 18.
Trollano was part of the initial plan of sending a TNT-laden roster to the continental showpiece, but it did not push through.
When the core of Rain or Shine was replaced to represent the country, the 6-foot-3 winger was not part of the lineup. Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas, however, decided not to join the Asian Games anymore.
Trollano admitted that he was a bit disappointed.
“Siyempre naman. Kasi dream 'yan eh, dream ng lahat ng player na makapaglaro para sa bansa natin. Siyempre, nanghinayang ako nung sinabing hindi na matutuloy,” the 26-year-old TNT Katropa shared.
But even though his chance to represent the country went down, Trollano never lost his hope and kept himself ready without any guaranteed opportunities.
“Pinaghandaan ko rin naman. Kasi 'di ba, dapat TNT. So after ng break namin, nag-extra pa rin,” he said “And then nabalitaan na nag-pull out, dire-diretso pa rin.”
And when SBP had a change of heart and finally decided to send a national team in the Asiad, Trollano was one of the players selected by head coach Yeng Guiao.
“Siyempre, masaya. Hindi ko naman kasi ine-expect ko na matatawag ulit ako. Kasi 'di ba, ang dami naman nating mas magagaling na players. Very thankful,” the Catanduanes native said.
Now that he is on the cusp of playing for the country’s pride, the E-Painters' 2015 15th overall pick is excited about his potential reunion with his former team, which won the 2016 PBA commissioner’s Cup championship.
“Siguro familiar na rin ako sa kanya kasi naglaro na ako sa kanya, nag-champion kami ng 2016,” Trollano said. “‘Yun siguro ang naging advantage ko. Familiar ako sa system.”
Trollano added that his biggest advantage in this team is his familiarity with his former coach Guiao and former teammates Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, Chris Tiu, Maverick Ahanmisi, and Raymond Almazan.
“Actually, sobrang komportable kasi 'yung play, 'yun pa rin eh. Hindi nabago. Alam na alam ko pa rin,” he said. “Kaya sobrang komportable. Lahat ng galaw, alam ko na. Walang adjustment, 'yun pa rin.”