Photo from NCAA/GMA
Liwag was one of the latest additions to the national team training pool along with UP’s Ricci Rivero and Fil-American Caelum Harris after original members Justin Baltazar and James Spencer begged off.
He joined Letran’s Rhenz Abando as the only NCAA players in the squad filled with collegiate standouts. The call-up came as a surprise even for Liwag although he had a decent rookie season where he averaged 9.33 points, 8.67 rebounds and 1.67 blocks for Emilio Aguinaldo College in Season 97.
His agile 6-foot-7 lanky frame however was intriguing enough for Gilas program director Chot Reyes to consider him for the pool.
“Siyempre unang una di ko inexpect na nangyari sa akin na mapapasali ako dun siguro gagawin ko na lang yung best ko every practice, every opportunity na bigyan ako ng mga coaches at ng mga teammate ko para mapakita ko rin na deserving ako rin na mapasali duon,” said the 20-year old big man.
Seeing the rare chance to don the country’s colors, Liwag vowed to give his best shot to prove that he is worthy for one of the final roster spots in Gilas.
“Sobrang unexpected sa career ko, kaya gagawin ko talaga yung best ko para di masayang yung opportunity na binigay ng SBP, ng Gilas at syempre ni Lord,” he added.
Liwag said he has joined Gilas practice and the adjustment has been smooth under new head coach Nenad Vucinic and despite playing alongside UAAP stars.
“So far okay naman madali ako nakakasama sa kanila, kumbaga nakakasabay ako kumbaga kasi winelcome nila ako na parang isa sa kanila kahit personally nagulat talaga ako,” admitted the Generals forward.
“Di mo na kailangang isipin kung galing kang NC or UAAP kumbaga iisang team na rin kayo kailangan magtulungan para magkaroon ng chemistry,” he added.
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph