JOLLO Go is playing for two Philippine teams competing in back-to-back youth championship tournaments this month, but you won't hear a single complaint from the young man.
The 17-year-old from Hope Christian High School is one of three players currently playing for the Philippines in the Fiba Under-17 World Championship from August 8 to 16 in Dubai who will head straight to the Fiba-Asia Under-18 Championship in Doha, Qatar from August 19 to 28.
Aside from Go, also suiting up in the twin tournaments are Richard Escoto of Far Eastern University and Paul Desiderio of University of the Philippines.
“Handa naman po ako,” said Go before leaving for Dubai for the world championship. “Maaga pa lang po, sinabihan na ako. Handa na ‘yung utak ko. Para sa bayan din. Sobrang saya rin po ako kahit pagod.”
Go is a member of the Philippine team that finished a surprising second in last year’s Fiba-Asia Under-16 Championship that gained for the Batang Gilas a place in the world tournament.
Go said he considers himself lucky to get a chance to play for flag and country.
“Suwerte ko lang din po dahil hindi lahat ng kabataan, nabibigyan ng ganitong chance. Lahat naman po ng ka-age ko, gusto ko rin ‘yung ganitong pagkakataon. Isang beses lang magiging 17 years old. Suwerte lang din po ako na napasama ako dito,” said Go.
A winner of a championship with Hope Christian High School in the 2012 Tiong Lian tournament, Go said playing against the likes of the United States in the world championships is a chance of a lifetime.
“Sa world naman po, para lang sa akin, ilalaban lang din namin. Ganun lang din nung Fiba-Asia, wala kaming ine-expect. Alam lang namin, malalaki ang kalaban. Pero lumaban kami ng lumaban. Ganun din sa Fiba-World. Puso lang. Hanggang hindi natatapos, laban lang,” said Go.
On the game against a US team made up of future NBA stars, Go said: “Siyempre, NBA na nga po ‘yung iba doon. Pagdating sa future, masasabi mo na nakalaro mo na sila. Malakas ‘yung USA. Kahit tambakan kami, basta lumaban kami,” he said.