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Nueva Ecija striker Gab Banal believes the adversities of his basketball career have paved the way for one of the most successful careers outside the PBA. And that the most useful player (MVP) MPBL in title returns to the PBA, he is at peace where he is even after missing a chance to return to the PBA with TNT KaTropa last year.
“Of course, every player in the country would like to play in the PBA,” said Banal, 29, in a recent episode of the Crossover podcast.
“But not being in the PBA, there are still a lot of things you could do. It depends on what you are looking for. Some people are chasing this PBA dream, but the hardest part is when you’re not playing [there] and I have experienced it. Banal, second-round pick in 2014, played in moderation for Globalport in 2017 when he reunited with former Philippines youth team coach Franz Pumaren. Shortly after, he was without a PBA team, which prompted him to return to the D-League.
“The main anchor for me has been my faith,” said Banal, one of four sons of former PBA coach and coach Joel Banal. “No matter what, it’s my faith that keeps me going.”
A rejuvenated Gab Banal won the MVP title of the final, helping the Go For Gold Scratchers to win the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup. A few months later, he was appointed MPP of the MPBL after a spectacular season with the Bacoor Strikers . He has also represented the country in 3 × 3 tournaments in China and Mongolia. A stint with Mighty Sports also gave him his first international title at the Dubai Invitational. But none of this would have happened if he had been able to move to the PBA last year. A memo sent by the MPBL prohibited the teams from releasing the players until the end of the season, which meant that Bacoor was not obliged to separate from Banal.
Banal said he would not have wanted it otherwise because Bacoor has maximized his talents.
“If you’re for fun, go to a place where you can play,” said Banal. “I want to share my story because these are roller coasters [ride] and it doesn’t look good from the outside. I have to go through things that people can relate to and I want to tell them that there is always hope. “
When basketball resumes after the COVID-19 pandemic, Banal hopes he would also bring a championship to Nueva Ecija, who filled her list by acquiring Renz Palma and the University of the Philippines Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño.
“The most important thing is where your joy is,” said Banal. “If the right time comes, God willing, there is a great supply, a good team, a good coach and a good environment, we will see and I will have fun. But right now, I’m really happy where I am right now. Basketball is fun for me right now. “INQ
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