JOINING Gilas Pilipinas is best described by Javee Mocon in just a single phrase.
The Rain or Shine wingman was quick to respond to the invitation extended on him to join the national team pool currently training for the coming FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
On the dot on Tuesday, Mocon showed up at the Meralco gym and joined 18 other players vying to make the final 12-man roster of coach Mark Dickel.
Mocon said the call up was made Monday by team manager Gabby Cui, and without hesitation, he readily said yes to the invitation.
"Team Pilipinas yan, and I will never say no. Kahit anong araw," said the incoming sophomore forward.
It's a privilege na ma-consider," he added.
Mocon is the new face added to the Gilas pool that is in the midst of its preparation for the first window of the qualifiers that begins next week.
Phoenix big man Justine Chua just came on board over the weekend, while the Alaska duo of Vic Manuel and Abu Tratter are likewise coming over, although the two still didn't show up in practice as the Aces are currently on a team building.
The new additions are expected to ease the impact brought about by the pullout of big men Christian Standhardinger, Japeth Aguilar, and Mac Belo, along with gunner Matthew Wright, who was the latest to beg off from suiting up for the national squad.
In his first stint with Gilas, Mocon is thrilled just by playing alongside this pool of talent.
"It's a blessing in itself, kahit nasa pool pa lang ako," said Mocon, who had a solid rookie season with the Elasto Painters.
In attendance at practice along with Mocon were Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Chua, CJ Prez, Poy Erram, and team captain Kiefer Ravena.
The amateur side saw Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Matt and Mike Nieto, Dave Ildefonso, Dwight Ramos, Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano, JD Tungcab, Rey Suerte and Allyn Bulanadi.
Marc Pingris also showed up didn't join the team in scrimmage owing to a hurting knee.
Justine Baltazar and Bobby Ray Parks are the only players part of the pool who have yet to show up in practice.
Gilas Pilipinas is hosting Thailand on Feb. 20 for the kickoff of the qualifiers. They travel to Indonesia next and play the host team on Feb. 23. (RG)