COACH Jong Uichico is forced to put club over country for now as he will stay behind with Tropang TNT while Gilas Pilipinas embarks on its European training camp in two weeks.
The Texters coach and national team deputy said he won’t join Gilas in Greece, Turkey, and Italy as he focuses on the flagship squad of the MVP group ahead of the PBA Governors’ Cup next month.
It’s understandable. After ruling last year’s Commissioner’s Cup, the Texters have underperformed, getting eliminated in the Governors’ Cup, before failing to get past the quarterfinals in the first two conferences this season.
“Though I want to go to Greece and Italy – syempre who does not want to go there, ‘di ba? But I have to (stay),” Uichico told Spin.ph. “Baka mapabayaan ko ang Talk ‘N Text. We’re not doing very well.”
“So maybe I should spend more time (with TNT),” he added. “Sacrifice din, concentrate muna sa Talk ‘N Text.”
National coach Tab Baldwin and assistants Alex Compton and Josh Reyes will lead the squad, which leaves on June 10 for Greece for a high-altitude camp until June 19, then departs for Turkey to face its national team on June 21, before heading to Italy for a pocket tournament.
Uichico said the Texters, who return to practice on Monday, have yet to sign an import, although former Air21 reinforcement Dominque Sutton is among their choices.
“He’s not really out top choice, but he’s in the list,” the champion coach said.