Norwood comes full circle with Gilas Pilipinas
Paul Lintag on Jul 27, 2017 07:29 PM
"Back again, 10 years from my first experience representing the country. It's kinda wild to still be thought of as a valuable asset to the team." --- Gabe Norwood on his return to Gilas Pilipinas.
Gabe Norwood has officially come full circle with the Philippines national team.
Ten years after he first rocked the Pilipinas jersey, the versatile forward is still at it, making the final Gilas lineup for the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup in Lebanon next month.
Norwood is seeing action in his third straight FIBA-Asia joust after being part of the Gilas teams that won silver in 2013 and 2015.
Although Norwood is in the team now, it appeared that his international career was over after the Gilas program returned to its roots this year, going all-in an a promising young lineup.
However, Norwood was included in the 24-man pool for the Asian championships that was released earlier this month and as the national team prepares for Lebanon, the return of the 32-year-old forward is finally official.
"Back again, 10 years from my first experience representing the country. It's kinda wild to still be thought of as a valuable asset to the team," Norwood said.
"I'm honored and excited for this go around," he added.
With Gilas practice for FIBA-Asia already underway. Norwood is happy to reconnect with his former teammates and is raring to play with the new faces as well.
"It's exciting. Any time you represent the country it's exciting. And you got guys that are fresh and getting that opportunity," he said.
"Being able to watch them is SEABA and at the Jones Cup, the country should be excited. Whether I'm there or not, there's a lot of guys that are playing with their heart, puso all the way through. I'm excited to be a part of it again," Norwood added.
With Gilas Pilipinas opening group play against rival China, Norwood is also looking forward to meeting the defending champions.
Norwood and the Philippines have some unfinished business against the Chinese from two years ago.
"Always," Norwood said without hesitation when asked if the Philippines will be looking for revenge in China for the 2015 FIBA-Asia final.
"We all know the tactics that went on in that host situation. But neutral ground [in Lebanon], it should be exciting," he added.
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