Jordan Heading relishing Gilas return with SBP dispute behind
MANILA, Philippines—Jordan Heading’s rift with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, without a doubt, is water under the bridge now.
No less than the Filipino-Aussie revealed that he was being eyed to backstop Gilas Pilipinas anew in the November leg of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers when the Philippines played Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
“We stayed in contact throughout it all,” Heading shared with reporters on Monday night. “We tried to make it work last window, but it just didn’t work out.”
“Both sides were happy to kind of just move over the things that happened in the past and focus on the Cup and focus on these windows, and leave all the distractions aside.”
Heading, a former youth team member who made his debut with the men’s squad two years ago under coach Tab Baldwin, figured in a contract dispute with the national federation for taking his act to Taiwan despite being on loan for Gilas Pilipinas by way of the Philippine Basketball Association’s special draft.
“Sometimes things don’t work out in one way but that doesn’t mean that just because I left Gilas earlier, doesn’t mean that I had an intention of leaving permanently,” Heading pointed out.
Now with Nagasaki in the Japan B.League, Heading is now shaping up as a logical choice for Chot Reyes whose talent pool is reeling from the absence of mainstay and equally lethal shooter Roger Pogoy due to a bone bruise.
And Heading is clearly enjoying every moment of the chance.
“We have such talented offensive guys out here [who] can make plays one through five. Really easy to play with. Obviously, the top talent out here in the Philippines, it’s super high,” he said.
Like many people who have been batting for his reinstatement, Heading is also hoping that his return to Gilas is for the long haul.
“I hope so,” he said of possibly being a fixture for Reyes’ talent pool that is geared towards the World Cup. “That’s not up to me, but of course, I’d say yes. It’s always a huge honor to be here and I’m thankful that I can come back from Japan midseason and be in the Philippines to put on a Gilas jersey.”
“It was always my idea to try and come back for every window that I could [be in] leading up to the World Cup. And hopefully, be there for that.”