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Abu Tratter starstruck in first Gilas practice

MANILA, Philippines – Former De La Salle University big man Abu Tratter wanted a souvenir after his first-ever practice with the Philippine national men's basketball team – a picture with his idol, Gabe Norwood.

Tratter was admittedly in awe of the Gilas Pilipinas veterans on Monday, when he participated in training for the first time since he was included in the "23 for 23" pool.

Former La Salle center Abu Tratter. Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
"At first, I was just shocked to see June Mar (Fajardo) and Gabe, just to be in the midst of them," said Tratter, who missed the first Gilas practice of the year because he was playing in a pocket tournament in Cebu with his D-League team, Marinerong Pilipino.

"I even asked them for a picture," he revealed. "Hopefully, they'll still give me one."

For Tratter, it was a humbling experience just to be included in the pool of cadets who may one day represent the country in international competitions – including the 2023 FIBA World Cup. It was an unexpected honor for the former La Salle forward, who spent most of his final two seasons as a back-up to star center Ben Mbala.

Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
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