IT’S not exactly a statement game that Troy Rosario delivered on Friday night for Talk ‘N Text, but if any, it’s a testament that he truly deserves being the only rookie player in the 17-man training pool of Gilas Pilipinas.
Rosario fired a team-high 20 points in the Tropang Texters’ 107-101 loss to the NLEX Road Warriors that snapped their three-game winning run in the season-opening conference.
He had nine of his total output in the final quarter including back-to-back treys that put Talk ‘N Text on top, 90-87.
Unfortunately, the Tropang Texters failed to hang on in the end game suffered their second loss in five outings.
The forward out of National University said slowly but surely, he’s finally getting familiar with the way games are being played in the pro league, something which he believes will help him grow and become a better player especially in his second stint with the national team.
“Malaking bagay 'yung sa PBA, lalo na 'yung una kong laro talagang nag-struggle ako. Pero ngayong lumalaon na 'yung season nakukuha ko na yung style of play dito, nagkakaroon ako ng idea kung ano pa 'yung dapat i-improve sa game ko,” said Rosario, who shot 8-of-12 from the field, including 4-fo-5 from downtown, while adding seven rebounds in his best game in his young pro career.
The 23-year-old freshman is indeed grateful, to be tapped again to play for flag and country as the Philippines competes in the qualifier for the Rio De Janeiro Olympics in July next year.
“Masaya ako na natawag uli ako para magkaroon ng chance na maglaro uli sa bansa,” he stressed. “Hindi naman nakakapagod maglaro sa bansa, masaya nga maglaro kasi nag-gain ako ng experience sa bagong career (ko).”
Rosario was part of Gilas 3.0 that finished runner-up behind China in the FIBA-Asia Men’s Championship in Changsha, China as one of two alternates along with veteran Gary David.
Despite the failure to play a single game during the tournament, the Talk ‘N Text rookie said his confidence was hardly dented.
“Alam ko naman sa sarili ko na kulang pa talaga ako, para matawag dun sa final 12. Alam ko naman sa sarili ko na hindi ko pa kaya, mas kaya pa nung iba,” he said.
But with another chance of suiting up for the national team after coach Tab Baldwin made him part of Gilas- 17-man training pool, Rosario is keeping his fingers crossed he’ll finally be able to play this time.
“Siyempre lagi naman akong hopeful. Yun lang nung nakaraan kasi rookie lang (ako). Di ko expect na pipiliin agad akong maging final 12,” he said.
“Pero pinagtatrabahuhan ko (ito) para balang araw mapasama dun sa 12,” he said.
And the drive towards that goal began for Troy on Friday night.