Erram eager to learn from Blatche, make Gilas roster

Gilas Pilipinas wraps up first of daily practices (1:21)

Gilas Pilipinas wraps up first of daily practices (1:21)

NLEX center Poy Erram is determined to earn a spot with Gilas Pilipinas.

After their short stint in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup, Erram hired a nutritionist and spent each day in the gym, heeding the advice of NLEX and national team head coach Yeng Guiao to gain weight and bulk up.

"I only took three days off (when NLEX's Commissioner's Cup campaign ended). I don't want to be out of basketball for long because we still have Gilas and I really want to stay in good condition, especially since I had a bad performance in the Commissioner's Cup," Erram told ESPN5 on Monday.

Erram averaged 10.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists for NLEX in the midseason conference, but failed to lead his team to the playoffs for the second straight time this season. With Andray Blatche in town, Erram wants to learn as much as he can from the NBA veteran, knowing the FIBA World Cup provides a higher level of competition.

"(Blatche) is really a big help for me and for us because he's got the experience in the NBA and internationally," he said. "It's good to work with him daily in practice, learn from him and see how he thinks during the game. And definitely, his presence elevates our level of play and confidence."

Erram has also found a new source of inspiration to help him reach his goals. He and his newly-wedded wife Jerry, who got married in June, are expecting their first child late this year. Despite things happening in his personal life, Erram said he remains focused on helping Gilas achieve its goal in the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup.

"From the player's standpoint, we know it's difficult since we couldn't practice with a complete roster yet. We know the expectations for us are high to try to reach the second round (in the World Cup), but all we need to do is give our very best," he stressed.

There's definitely pressure to deliver, but Erram is grateful that his wife fully supports his career.

"With the help of my wife, she gets to help me balance my life because normally, when I get home, I'm really tired and I simply go to sleep," Erram shared. "She's the one preparing my meals and she reminds me to simply persevere and be patient, so for me I simply give my best and work hard for my family."