Abu Tratter joined Gilas Pilipinas not just to help it in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, but also to gain lessons that he can apply when he plays for Alaska in the Philppine Basketball Association (PBA).
Tratter said playing for the national team would definitely give him a lot of lessons and boost his confidence when he campaigns with the Aces in the Philippine Cup starting 8 March.
The former De La Salle University star was a late addition for Gilas and was only called up when Christian Standhardinger, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright and Mac Belo all begged off due to various reasons.
He was the first to arrive in practice last Friday and head coach Mark Dickel was impressed with his work ethic and attitude.
“Playing for Gilas gives me a lot of self-esteem. I want to come here and learn from these guys that I can use when I play for Alaska,” said the Filipino-American slotman, who averaged 8.9 points and 5.2 rebounds in his rookie campaign last year.
“Whenever Gilas needs me, I’m going to show up. It doesn’t matter if I get picked in the final lineup or not. What is important are the lessons I will gain from this experience.”
Dickel said he likes how the 27-year old center develops.
“He’s really impressive. He’s good. He’s in great shape and had improved a lot in just one year. Credit goes to his coaches in Blackwater and Alaska because they really did a good job on him,” said Dickel, who first saw the potential of Tratter when they worked out before the PBA Draft last year.
“I worked with him few days before the draft and he had improved a huge amount. There are a lot of good players in the PBA. All they need are just an opportunity to show what they can do.”