GABE Norwood insisted that the mental exhaustion is tougher than physical aspect in his transition from country back to club duties.
Coming off a stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the two-week Fiba Asia Cup, the Rain or Shine utility man returned to his mother team on Sunday and hardly showed signs of fatigue as he proved to be a vital cog in the team’s 92-88 win over Star in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
“I think a lot of it’s mental,” Norwood said. “Basketball is what we do; this is our job. I’ve been playing basketball since the age of five, so physically, I don’t even know any more if I’m hurt or in pain, but it’s the mental transition that takes its toll.”
Fellow national team standout Raymond Almazan, however, saw the effects of his double duty as he wound up dehydrated and had to be stretchered out to the ambulance on the way to the hospital after the game.
Norwood picked up from where he left off after his Gilas stint as he registered 15 points, 11 boards, four assists, two steals, one block, and zero turnover in almost 37 minutes.
“It was great,” the 32-year-old cager said. “I felt like there was pressure on me and Raymond. They won two games without us, so we didn’t want to come back and be the unlucky charms, so we came in and everybody played well tonight.
“It was good to get a team victory against one of the top teams in the league,” he added.
It seems he was motivated to bring his vintage play with Gilas to the Elasto Painters.
“I try to be as professional as possible all the time,” Norwood said. “But it might be a little boost. We finished things on a win in Lebanon. It’s not the performance we wanted, but it ended on a high note. So that might be carrying over.
“But at the same time, there are a lot of games left in the conference, so we got to go back to the drawing board, another long break before our next game,” he added as the E-Painters are set to have a break of more than a week.
At least Norwood can now also recover physically aside from the mental part.
“Right now, I’m just going to enjoy these ten days, and really try to refocus, and get back into it,” Norwood said.