Gelo Alolino has no regrets skipping shot at Gilas spot to focus on PBA dream
Former NU star Gelo Alolino is expected to go high in the PBA regular draft. Jaime Campos

HIS sights are dead set on turning pro, so much so that he chose to forego his first shot at making the national team at the senior level.

And Gelo Alolino has no regrets as he gets ready to become one of the potential top picks in the regular PBA Draft on Sunday.

The former National University star was among the amateur standouts expected to try out for the national team bound for Iran for the Fiba Asia Challenge and was poised to make the squad that’s lacking in pure point guards outside Mike Tolomia.

Yet he chose to focus on his individual preparations on making the next step in his career.

“My goal is to be in the PBA, while yung isa (Gilas), double responsibility,” Alolino said while on a break in the Draft Combine.

He knows what he’s talking about, having represented the country in the youth level for three years, and recently in the Merlion Cup under the Mighty Sports-Philippines banner.

Alolino feels it’s time to focus on realizing his hoop dreams, but stressed that he’s not making one choice over the other.

“It’s not about (making a choice between) Gilas or the draft,” Alolino said. “Talagang yun lang yung option ko, which is to be in the draft. Tapos na ako sa semi pro so ganun.”

[See US-honed Ael Banal reintroduces self to PBA scouts with solid play in Draft Combine]

But he’s definitely not closing his doors on representing the country in the senior level.

“Like I said, hindi pa naman tapos eh,” the 22-year-old cager said. “Syempre, Gilas is Gilas and you’ll feel special and flattered pag tinawag ka ng country mo, so if ever man, I’ll feel blessed and thankful.”

“Kung nasa na PBA ako, kung talagang para sa akin yan, darating naman sa akin yan whether nasa pros na ako,” he added.

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For now, the 6-foot playmaker, who has worked out with Phoenix and Mahindra, can’t wait to hear his name called on Sunday – and the spotlight will definitely be on him and the rest of the standouts not in the Gilas draft.

He admitted it’s a blessing in disguise that the creation of the special draft boosted his stock.

“Oo, kasi medyo nahati (yung draft), so malaki yung chances,” Alolino said. “Pero honestly speaking, wala naman sa akin kung whether I’ll be the first, second, Top Five, or Top Six to Top Ten, wala na akong kailangan i-ask for.

"Kung makakapasok ako sa PBA, it’s a dream come true na para sa akin.”

[See Sources: Tolomia to RoS, Daquioag to NLEX, Pogoy to Meralco]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos