JOSHUA Sinclair admitted his stint in the Fiba 3x3 World Tour Manila leg last year gave him a major confidence boost to lead the Batang Gilas Pilipinas cagers that's dominating the Seaba Under-18 Championship in Medan, Indonesia.
As a high school player, Sinclair was part of the Manila South squad that saw action in the Fiba 3x3 World Tour Manila held at the Robinsons’ Place in Ermita.
Sinclair's team failed to land a victory against veteran-laden opponents, but the 18-year-old National University recruit said that experience in the Fiba 3x3 has come in handy with Batang Gilas.
“It was a great experience,” Sinclair said, referring to the Fiba 3x3 World Tour stint. “It boosted my confidence a lot. After that, I felt that I can match up with people from other countries.”
“I was playing against persons much older than me. I was afraid then, and I went over the hurdle. I learned a lot from that,” added the former Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu standout.
Still, Sinclair declined to be billed as one of the veterans of Batang Gilas.
“I wouldn’t say I’m the veteran. Jolo (Mendoza) and Gian (Mamuyac) have been through a lot more than me,” said Sinclair, referring to the co-captains who already played for Batang Gilas in previous years.
“But at least, I have experience playing against international countries,” he added.
The Fil-Australian cager said he is cherishing the experience of playing for the national team for the first time in his young career.
“Huge privilege,” said the 6-foot-4 Sinclair. “I didn’t think I was going to make the team. At first, I was doubting but I’m just glad to play for the Philippines. Coach Eric (Altamirano), he was the one who told me about the tryouts. I went through the process and made the team."
The Philippines is currently on top of this year’s edition of the Seaba where three slots for the Fiba-Asia Under-18 Championship are at stake. Still, Sinclair isn’t taking anything lightly.
“You should not be complacent even though we have a history in Seaba. They are getting [good] players and I don’t think it’s going to be good being complacent,” Sinclair said.