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Even if ROS has game a day after, Tolomia shows up at Gilas practice

Mike Tolomia chats with fellow Gilas pool member Ed Daquioag during a break in action between Rain Or Shine and Meralco recently. (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—While Gilas has begun doing daily practices to further gear up for the SEABA Championship, Coach Chot Reyes is aware that the PBA Commissioner's Cup is still ongoing.

So he is excusing those who have scheduled games the day after.

Rain Or Shine is booked to face Phoenix on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

However, rookie guard Mike Tolomia still joined the Gilas practice on Tuesday night at the Meralco Gym.

Asked by reporters on why he still decided to train with his fellow Nationals despite the scheduled match, Tolomia simply wanted to make the most of what would be a short Gilas week for him.

"Gusto kong makapag-practice ngayon kasi bukas di ako makaka-attend. After bukas, may break naman kami, so makakapahinga ako," he said.

He is also unfazed about the stamina problem it could possibly bring since the clash between the Elasto Painters and the Fuel Masters will be the nightcap of the doubleheader.

"Siguro kung first game kami, makakapag-isip pa ako. Isa pa, di pa naman heavy minutes yung nilalaro ko," the 5-foot-11 combo guard continued.

For him as well, his appearance in practice is not just a sign of his commitment but a sign that he wants to learn.

"Alam ko naman na marami akong matututunan dito sa Gilas pool. Yun ang importante," Tolomia further said.

No wonder he had a special commendation from Reyes in a separate interview.

"Special shoutout to Mike Tolomia who still came and practiced," the coach said.

Tolomia's fellow E-Painter Raymond Almazan came to the practice although as a mere spectator, while the Gilas pool members from the opposing side, Matt Wright and Norbert Torres, were present too but did not join the training as well.

The Nationals who will play in the first game, NLEX's Fonzo Gotladera and GlobalPort's Terrence Romeo and Von Pessumal, were also observers in the practice.

Gotladera's fellow Road Warrior Bradwyn Guinto was not around during the practice.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno