By Adrian Stewart Co
While many were stunned with his inclusion to the special Gilas Pilipinas draft of the PBA Season 46 Rookie Draft, Antiqueño center Tzaldy John Rangel is ready to prove that he belongs to the national men’s basketball team.
The 6-foot-7 former National University Bulldogs center admitted that he was surprised that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has included him in the Gilas draft but is ready for the challenge.
“Being tapped to play for Gilas Pilipinas is a blessing and at the same time a responsibility,” Rangel said. “I am excited to represent the country and very much ready to compete.”
“This is a great opportunity for me as a player although I really did not expect it,” he added. “I’m just gonna do my part, work hard, and learn from Gilas coaches and players. Goal ko po is to help the team in whatever way I can.”
The former Hua Siong College of Iloilo Red Phoenix player further said he feels confident that the lessons he learned playing for various coaches will help him adjust to the national men’s basketball team.
“With the help of my former coaches ko sa NU, si Coach Eric Altamirano, Coach Jamike (Jarin) and (San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas) Coach Jimmy (Alapag), I am confident that I can easily adjust sa system ni coach Tab (Baldwin),” Rangel said.
Rangel is part of the Gilas Pilipinas delegation that entered the training bubble at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna last week in preparation for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifier and Olympic Qualifying Tournament this year.
Apart from his Gilas stint, Rangel said he is also looking forward to join the Road Warriors and learn more from head coach Joseller Guiao once his duty with the national men’s basketball team is over.
“I am ready for whatever hardship or challenge na parating playing under coach Yeng. As a player, I believe Normal lang po yun and I know that what he will do is for my basketball career din,” said Rangel./ASC, WDJ