AN Arnold Van Opstal sighting in the PBA Philippine Cup opener?
With his towering 6-foot-9 frame, there was no way the former Gilas cadet could have been missed by the 23,711 fans who trooped to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan to watch the lone opening game between Barangay Ginebra and TnT Katropa.
Van Opstal, who last played for NorthPort in 2017 during Franz Pumaren's time in charge, was seen watching the game from behind the TnT bench though he wasn’t spotted cheering for the Katropa, who lost the game, 90-79.
Reached for comment later on, the 27-year-old Fil-German said he’d rather not discuss anything at the moment.
“Maybe you can interview me in a couple of weeks. I don’t want to talk about it now,” he said when asked if he’s set to join TnT, which obviously lacked height this season especially with the injuries suffered by big men Troy Rosario and Yousef Taha.
He was also mum on whatever happened to his stint with the Batang Pier, where he hardly saw action after being acquired in a trade with San Miguel Beer in exchange for gunner Von Pessumal.
Messages sent to NorthPort management weren’t returned as of post time, although SPIN.ph learned from other sources that Van Opstal has yet to be given his release papers by the Batang Pier.
But the former La Salle center, who won a UAAP men’s basketball championship with the Green Archers in 2013, admitted he’s definitely eyeing a league comeback, adding he does miss playing the game.
“I’m working on it. I’m working on a comeback,” he said.
And despite not having been seen playing by basketball fans, Van Opstal said he’s in pretty good shape right now.
“I’m in shape. Always in shape,” he stressed.
He hopes everything will be in order a few weeks from now without further elaborating.
“Maybe like in a week to be clear, because right now, I don’t know anything really,” Van Opstal added.
Van Opstal was part of the Gilas cadet pool that was handpicked by the 12 teams in a special rookie draft held in 2016.
The Beermen picked Van Opstal as back-up for prized big man June Mar Fajardo, although he hardly got playing time from coach Leo Austria. He was however, a part of two championship teams in 2016-17 before being shipped to NorthPort.