Al Francis Tamsi has come a long way from playing basketball in the barely paved hardcourts with rickety hoops in Tagbilaran City, but he says that his formative years brought him to where he is now.
The former Far Eastern University (FEU) guard admits to having recalled not being chosen to play in pick-up games back when he was in high school, but he remembers this as among fond memories now.
This is especially true now as most self-doubts on his basketball abilities may have faded after the 6’1” Tagbilaran native was recently chosen to be part of perhaps the most important team in his young career.
The 24-year-old Tamsi on Tuesday was selected to be part of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas team which has been sent to compete in the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup in China which starts tomorrow.
He was a last minute insertion to the 12-man roster, but he said he is up to the task.
“I knew I was part of the lineup a day before departure. I’m not really prepared as it was a last minute decision but I will do my best to contribute if the coaches will use me,” said Tamsi in Cebuano.
“I’m very excited, I never expected to be selected,” he added. “I only thought I was there as practice player, but later on they told me to have my passport ready.”
Tamsi will be joining Kiefer Ravena, Almond Vostros and Carl Bryan Cruz who led Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas to victory in the Southeast East Asian Games where they clinched gold medals.
“Our chemistry is still not perfect since we’ve been practicing for only one week, and we still have to familiarize the sytem,” Tamsi said. “But I’m thankful that our system is similar to that of FEU so it’s not that hard to adjust.”
Tamsi started his collegiate basketball career with the PMI Colleges in Tagbilaran City and eventually ended up with the Morayta-based FEU Tamaraws helping the squad win the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball title.
He was then selected in the third round of the 2016 PBA Draft by GlobalPort, but he is now with TNT KaTropa.