Heading into Gilas pool, Fil-Aussie standout a veteran of int’l meets
Jordan Heading may be one of the latest additions to the Gilas Pilipinas’ training pool which holds camp in Calamba, Laguna province, but he is technically a veteran as far as national team duty is concerned.
That is why he is taking upon himself the burden of providing a senior voice within the bunch that features the country’s top collegiate stars.
And without stepping on anybody’s toes, that is.
“I’m taking it like it’s my last couple of years in college—[only] with a younger class. Even though I’m learning the system and it’s new to me … I guess I know how to lead. I’ve had experience with that,” he said during a television interview with ONE Sports on Thursday night.
By “leading,” Heading meant giving the guy next to him that psychological nudge—one that should come in handy in a training setup far removed from the comforts of routine and home.
“I’m just sort of trying to bring a lot of energy and bring a lot of positive encouragement and things like that to the guys so that they’d know that I believe in them,” he said.
“If you have teammates believing in you, it could really help [a lot],” added the 25-year-old guard, who also suited up for Filipino club San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League.
Heading—who was born to a Filipino mom and an Australian dad—was selected first by Terrafirma in the Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) special draft that lends elite prospects to the national program, is returning to where it all started for him in the Philippines.
He was a member of the national team that won third place in the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) Asia U-16 Championship in Vietnam nearly a decade ago.
Heading said there had been a lot of learning since he entered the national team’s training bubble at Inspire Sports Academy a week ago. But he’s not one to complain, especially with the moments he’s about to relive donning Gilas’ uniform.
“I know how much of amazing, how fun and how much of honor that was,” he said. “Of course, playing for the men’s team is even more so of that.”
“Not only do you represent the country and every Filipino overseas, but you also get to live the dream of every Filipino basketball player. You’ve got to take that seriously. I believe I’m doing that,” he said.
Joining Heading at Gilas by way of the PBA’s special selection process are Jaydee Tungcab, Tzaddy Rangel and William Navarro. Heading also reunites with Ateneo standout Isaac Go, who he played with in that Fiba tournament in 2011.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.