AFTER a long time away from the PBA, James Forrester is making yet another bid to return to the pro league by way of TNT KaTropa, where he has joined practices for over a week now.
The former Arellano standout joined TNT in the offseason two weeks ago and was part of the lineup for a tune-up game against NLEX at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center on Saturday, although he wasn't fielded in the match.
Still, the 29-year-old Fil-Canadian, who was taken fourth overall by Ginebra in the 2013 PBA draft ahead of players like Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia, was glad to be back in a PBA environment, even if it was just a tune-up game.
“Just the fact to sit down on a bench during a PBA tune-up game, it’s something that I wouldn’t think would happen in the year that I’ve had,” said Forrester on Saturday. “For it to happen today, it was really motivational. I love cheering on my teammates. Just being around basketball was really helpful.”
Since being drafted by Ginebra, Forrester has bounced around Barako Bull, Phoenix, NLEX, Blackwater, and GlobalPort, with little success, before taking his act to the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last year by way of the Formosa Dreamers.
However, Forrester suffered a ruptured Achilles while playing for the Dreamers, forcing him to sit out for a year.
“While I was in Taiwan, I ruptured my Achilles. I’ve been out of play for about a year. I was going back and forth between Manila and Toronto doing rehab sessions and getting myself back in shape," he said.
Now that he's recovered, Forrester is ready to get back to playing. Fortunately for him, TNT came calling although he is still unsure about his status with the team.
“Now, I’m fully recovered. I would say I’m 100 percent now. I’m ready to seize any opportunity that is available,” Forrester said.
“Hindi ko pa alam,” Forrester said when asked about his status with TNT. “I’ve been practicing for the past week, week and a half. So far, it’s been good. The environment, Talk ‘N Text is a very professional team. It’s a family here. If I ever have the opportunity to join them, I would be completely grateful.”
Forrester, though, admitted breaking into the PBA lineup will not be easy, but said he is willing to fight for a coveted spot.
“Super excited. Like everyone knows, it’s a privilege to play in the PBA, let alone for a team [like TNT]. It’s a very, very good opportunity. There are a lot of players in the country. A lot of worthy players.”
“It would be the best holiday gift for me and my family but like I said, I know how everything goes. If the opportunity is there, great. I’ll give thanks to the Lord. But if not, just keep on working and just keep on trying,” said Forrester.
Forrester said he will be focusing on defense if given a spot in TNT.
“My main focus is defense. I know that I have the ability. Everyone says I have the athleticism and the length. That’s what I would try to do. Just disrupt opposing team’s offenses and try to do my best definitely to stop my man and do what I can on offense to help this team,” said Forrester.
"They really have a lot of talented scorers. Just trying to fit in to the role," he added.