Schonny Winston using Gilas practices to ‘sharpen iron’
Schonny Winston doesn’t want to get too caught up on the possibility of cracking Chot Reyes’ final roster for the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
“I’m just taking it one thing at a time,” the former La Salle ace told the Inquirer while getting the tapes around his feet removed. “This is what’s in front of me so I’m just trying to enjoy the moment.”
“You only get each moment one time, so I don’t try to think too far ahead. I just try to stay in this moment as I feel this is a really big moment to not stay in and soak everything,” he added.
Born to an American dad and a Filipino mom, Winston is one of the four amateurs tapped to reinforce Gilas Pilipinas for its final two games in the continental showcase being used to determine the final roster for the Fiba World Cup here.
The lack of experience would normally have Winston, Adamson standout Jerom Lastimosa, La Salle’s Kevin Quiambao and young big man Mason Amos at the bottom of Reyes’ choices for the matches against Lebanon and Jordan. But recent injuries to Gilas shoo-ins have improved the youngsters’ chances of cracking the lineup.
Winston has even emerged as a wildcard for the two-guard spot following the shelving of TNT gunner Roger Pogoy, who suffered an ankle injury in a Philippine Basketball Association game last week.
Reyes had previously said Winston has been impressive throughout training camp.
But the 24-year-old guard, who is also plotting for the next move in his career after maxing out his college eligibility, understands that he is still just that: A wildcard choice.
“This is a great opportunity to test my skills against players who are pros. That’s the next step for me and this is a great opportunity to really hone my skills and learn from everybody, soaking all the knowledge that I can get out here while giving my all,” he said.
“This an immense source of pride just competing with these guys out here,” he added. “All I can do is come out here and compete every day.
“Iron sharpens iron.”