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Future-proofing Gilas is the best way to go says Toroman

Rajko Toroman sure had a thing going with his original Gilas Pilipinas team about a decade ago. Made up of mostly the top collegiate players, the original Gilas Pilipinas, reinforced by a naturalized player in Marcus Douthit and a few PBA players, came two wins away from a breakthrough Olympics stint. In the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships, Toroman's Gilas lost in the semifinals to Tab Baldwin's Jordan team. Coach Rajko says that that set up could totally work for Gilas Pilipinas and it seems like the current brains of the national team program have realized it as well, forming a core group of young players headlined by Thirdy Ravena and Isaac Go. "I think that the program was great that time. I think in this moment, there is a mix. They have to make some young players play tournaments, take some international exposure," Toroman said on the Coaches Unfiltered podcast. "But also when it comes time for the results, you need to have the best 5-6 players from the collegiate and the best 5-6 players from the PBA. I think this mix will be the best thing," he added. Sending an all-amateur team to top international tournaments may be impossible for a country like the Philippines, especially if the national team will be looking to win medals in Asia and be competitive against the world. However, a national team featuring battle-tested young guys reinforced by the current best looks to be the best set up. That way, the next versions of the Gilas team will still have its best players all while being future-proof. A better relationship now between the PBA and SBP can certainly make that happen. "I think in this period, it's easier to make it like this because of the connection of the PBA and SBP is much better than in my time," coach Rajko said. "I think this is the best way to make some younger players get exsposure and then make the best team possible," Toroman added.     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 22nd, 2020

Whatever happened to Gilas Pilipinas 1.0?

Since program’s inception, Gilas Pilipinas has been the name associated with the Philippine men’s basketball team. It gave the national team the identity it has used for a decade already. Gilas has gone through many iterations, but the current lineup, regardless of who the players are, only go by the general “Gilas” term. But early in the program’s history, each team went by a specific number, unofficially used by pretty much everyone to distinguish the teams that competed in different tournaments. It made sense too, since each team had a completely different identity. In later years, Gilas has improved in using the program as a way to ensure national basketball continuity. Nevertheless, each of the earlier Gilas versions had their success and failures. Here’s what happened to each of them.   Whatever happened to Gilas 1.0? Main tournament: 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships @ Wuhan, China Prize: 1 automatic ticket to the 2012 London Olympics Result: 4th place (lost to Jordan in semis, lost to South Korea in bronze medal game) Head coach: Rajko Toroman Coach Rajko’s previous history before becoming the first coach of the Gilas program was leading Iran to its first-ever Olympics appearance in Beijing just four years prior. Toroman was tasked to lead another national team to the Olympics, but his Philippine team mostly made up of amateur stars fell two wins short of London. Coach Rajko’s Gilas stint ended after the 2011 Asian Championships. He’s still recently connected to the Philippine team, albeit this time as an opponent. He now coaches Indonesia and his national team took on Gilas last December in the SEA Games in in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers last February.   The Players: #4 Mark Barroca After his unceremonious exit from FEU, Mark Barroca was selected into the original Gilas team and was a major revelation especially during the national team’s earlier tune-up games against PBA teams and when they actually went to the semifinals of the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup. After their semifinals stint in Wuhan, Barroca was part of the loaded 2011 Gilas Draft, picked 5th by Shopinas before being shipped to B-Meg. Barroca has stayed with the Purefoods franchise since, a 6-time PBA champion and two-time Finals MVP. He won the Grand Slam with the team in 2014. #5 Asi Taulava Asi was one of the PBA players chosen to reinforce a mostly-amateur Gilas team in 2011. At the time, Taulava was a Meralco Bolt but would become an ABL MVP and champion with San Miguel Beer in the ABL two years later. The 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships was Asi’s third straight appearance in the tournament. He was with the 2007 team in Tokushima and was also part of the 2009 team that competed in Tianjin. While Taulava was already almost 40 here, it won’t be his last stint with Gilas Pilipinas just yet. #6 Jvee Casio The former La Salle star was one of the main pillars of the original Gilas team, putting off the PBA Draft for two years in order to play for the national team. Proof of Casio’s standing in the original Gilas team was him being selected first overall during the 2011 Draft. With the Powerade Tigers, Casio, with Gilas teammate Marcio Lassiter, made the Philippine Cup Finals as a no. 8 seed in 2012. In 2013, Casio won his first and so far, only title in the Commissioner’s Cup with the Alaska Aces. #7 Jimmy Alapag Alapag was one of the three TNT players in the original Gilas team. It was Jimmy’s first stint in the national team since 2007. He was not chosen for the 2009 FIBA-Asia Championships. Jimmy didn’t see heavy minutes with the original Gilas, but he was the national team’s most reliable marksman and shot 40 percent from deep. Seeing action in 2011 means that Alapag is a Gilas original, and his first appearance with the program would not be his last, it’s also not his best. #8 Chris Tiu Arguably the face of Gilas Pilipinas when the program first started, Chris Tiu went from a successful UAAP career in Ateneo to being captain of the national team. Tiu didn’t play the most minutes and didn’t have the best numbers, but he probably put in the most work out of everyone for the original Gilas team. After Gilas, Tiu joined the PBA Draft in 2012 and was selected by Rain or Shine. He won the Commissioner’s Cup title in 2016 and retired from basketball after the 2018 season. #9 Japeth Aguilar Japeth Aguilar was still pretty raw during 2011 for the original Gilas team. In Wuhan, he played the least out of all the players, appearing in only five games. Nevertheless, Aguilar would become a constant for the national team after his first stint in 2009. Aguilar would find his way to Ginebra in the PBA and won four of his five titles with the team. He’s the league’s most recent Finals MVP and is still playing for Gilas Pilipinas. #10 Mac Baracael Mac Baracael making the original Gilas team was a miracle all in itself. After being shot in the back as an FEU Tamaraw, Baracael made a full recovery and was selected into the national team and was a role player in the 2011 Asian Championships. Baracael was taken 6th by Alaska in the 2011 Draft and had a short but mostly solid but forgettable career in the league. #11 Marcus Douthit Marcus Douthit was the solid rock that formed the foundation of the original Gilas Pilipinas team. After a long search, the national team tapped the former Providence center as naturalized player and in his first Asian Championships, Douthit didn’t disappoint. “Kuya Marcus” led the tournament in both points and rebounds, averaging 21.9 points per game and 12.2 rebounds. He was also tied for third in blocks with 1.7 rejections per outing. Douthit was already 31 at the time, but he most definitely proved that the Gilas program can work and the national team can be successful if you put a solid anchor around the country’s most skilled players. #12 Kelly Williams In his first and only stint with Gilas Pilipinas, Kelly Williams started at power forward. At this point in his career, Williams wasn’t exactly the player that took the PBA by storm and won MVP in his second season, but he was still explosive enough to give the national team quality minutes. Kelly’s role with the original Gilas has mostly mirrored his career in his later years, being the scrappy veteran at forward for teams with younger, faster players. #13 Marcio Lassiter Despite not playing in Gilas’ first two games of the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships due to eligibility issues, Lassiter ended up as the national team’s second leading scorer behind Douthit. Marcio actually struggled shooting in his Gilas Pilipinas debut, shooting less than 40 percent from the field and a woeful 21 percent from deep. Regardless, he was seen as the future of the national team, and it’s quite unfortunate that it took him a while to get back after his initial stint in Wuhan. In the PBA, Lassiter was picked 4th in the 2011 Draft by Powerade, joining Gilas teammate and no. 1 pick Jvee Casrio. Marcio was later traded to San Miguel and is now an 8-time champion. #14 Chris Lutz Like Lassiter, Chris Lutz missed two games in Wuhan due to eligibility issues. Like Lassiter, Lutz also struggled shooting the ball once he did play and wound up with the least total points for the original Gilas Pilipinas in 2011. Regardless, Lutz was a highly-touted recruit and was picked 3rd by San Miguel (then known as Petron) in the 2011 Draft and went on to average 15.4 points and 3.5 assists in his rookie year. However, Lutz’ career in the PBA ended up being short, as injuries ended up being his downfall. He was officially traded to Meralco in 2017, but is yet to resurface. #15 Ranidel De Ocampo RDO partnered with TNT teammate Kelly Williams to for a reliable power forward duo for the original Gilas Pilipinas. Never the flashy one, De Ocampo would become a reliable contributor for Gilas for years to come, and the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships was first proof of that. RDO was top-5 in points, rebounds, and assists for Gilas Pilipinas in 2011.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2020

Tab Baldwin sees PBA absence in Gilas pool as opportunity for cadets

Instead of focusing on the negative effects of the PBA's situation, Baldwin is choosing to look at the setup as a chance to develop more talent and be more proactive for the future......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 27th, 2021

SBP: More Gilas tournaments eyed to boost long-term competitiveness

More than just the three games set in Doha, Qatar later this month, the basketball federation is keeping its sights set on more future objectives — while of course, still maintaining a competitive mindset as the tournaments come......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2021

Gilas women’s team aims to scale greater heights

Already on the right track with a string of recent successes, the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team could well scale greater heights with a vast pool of future talents in line at the culmination of coach Pat Aquino’s scouting trip in the United States......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 31st, 2021

Batang& nbsp;Gilas and& nbsp;FEU& nbsp;Tamaraws& rsquo; towering Torres

Toughness, perseverance, and determination are traits that drive athletes to overcome obstacles in life. On the hardcourt and in life, this young athlete epitomizes the kind of resiliency that dreams are made of. Meet future basketball star Xyrus Dane Torres. .....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 23rd, 2021

Future looks bright for Gilas women

The Gilas Pilipinas women’s squad will soon have a vast pool of players to choose from for international tournaments with an influx of overseas recruits following coach Pat Aquino’s fruitful scouting trip in the United States......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 19th, 2021

Bright and promising Fil-Am talent pool key for Gilas women s future

The talent is so abundant, Aquino said, that it would prove vital to the program's future — with the organization of youth teams in mind......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 14th, 2021

Duke star guard eyed as future Gilas belles anchor

The Gilas Pilipinas women’s team is hoping to secure the commitment of Duke point guard Vanessa de Jesus to be part of its future core......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 7th, 2021

Future is bright for Gilas

Three things stood out in Gilas’ twin wins over Thailand in the recent FIBA Asia Cup second qualifying window in Bahrain......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 1st, 2020

SBP hails all-cadet Gilas after Thailand conquest

The future looks bright for Philippine basketball......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 1st, 2020

Carl Tamayo made it a point to play with the big boys in Gilas 23 for 23

Carl Tamayo had been a stalwart of Batang Gilas. Alongside 7-foot-2, 17-year-old Kai Sotto, he was a big part of the biggest-ever Philippine national youth team. Even more, though, Tamayo is also being eyed to be a big part of the future of Gilas Pilipinas itself. In fact, the 6-foot-7 modern big man was included in the 23 for 23 - a list of youngsters who were looked at as national team mainstays once the 2023 FIBA World Cup comes around. That list was concretized on 2018, when Tamayo was just 17-years-old. Still, even then, he was already standing out. So much so that the talented teen had already wowed Gilas and NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena. "Nakasama ko si Carl nung unang practice na magkakasama yung matatanda pati yung mga bata sa 23 for 23. Nun, siyempre, wala pa namang team, wala pa namang first five," he shared in The Prospects Pod. He then continued, "Pero si Carl, laging sumasama doon sa unang lima. Sinasabayan niya lagi sila June Mar [Fajardo], sila Japeth [Aguilar], sila Jayson [Castro]. Dun niya laging gustong sumabay." Yes, apparently in the very first training session of the supposed future national team, Tamayo made it a point to play with the likes of eight-time champion six-time MVP Fajardo, one-time best point guard in Asia Castro, and fan favorite Aguilar. And in Ravena's eyes, that in itself is nothing but impressive. "Ako, nasa isip ko nun, 'Okay, matapang 'tong batang 'to ha.' Kasi wala namang sinasabi, pero nag-volunteer siya agad," he shared. He then continued, "First impression ko talaga, malayo mararating ng batang 'to kasi wala siyang paki kung bago siya. Unang practice pa lang yun, kakasalang pa lang niya sa Gilas, pero ganun na kaagad yung approach niya." That even allowed the Road Warriors' lead guard to poke fun at his good friend. "Nung nakita ko yun, sinisiko ko si Troy Rosario. Sabi ko sa kanya, 'Troy, may papalit na sayo, Troy," he said, through chuckles. Of course, Tamayo isn't Rosario's replacement. Rather, hopefully, the two will join forces in a national team frontcourt ready and raring for modern basketball. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 30th, 2020

Aljun Melecio s never-ending quest to prove he belongs

Aljun Melecio has these hardware sitting pretty on his trophy case: UAAP 78 Jrs. MVP, UAAP 79 Rookie of the Year, UAAP 79 champion. Now heading into his fifth and final year in De La Salle University, he remains recognized as one of the best point guards in all of college. Well, recognized by just about everybody except himself. Asked if he feels worthy to stand alongside the likes of NCAA 95 Finals MVP Fran Yu or UAAP 82 Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy, he answered, modest as always, "Nope. I don't. Wala pa akong napapatunayan." Yes, the 5-foot-8 super scorer who was then head coach Aldin Ayo's "most-wanted recruit" feels he is yet to prove himself. Yes, the primetime playmaker who was once comforted by Tab Baldwin after the Green Archers had lost the championship despite his 16 points in Game 3 of the Finals feels he is yet to prove himself. That in itself is not necessarily surprising, though. And that's because all throughout his young career, Melecio has felt, again and again, that he has to prove himself. He had to prove himself even to La Salle, his home of nine years now. "Actually, 'di naman ako ni-recruit ng Zobel dati," he shared. "To be honest, my mindset at that time ay mag-Team B lang sa Zobel para pag may games, mas magagamit ako. Kaysa naman mag-Team A ako and nakaupo lang sa bench." BREAK IN Aljun Melecio, now a graduating guard, is La Salle's most recent homegrown product. Of the Green Archers' probable UAAP 83 roster, the now-22-year-old is the lone player to have come from the Taft-based school's Jrs. programs - and mind you, they have two in La Salle Zobel and La Salle Green Hills. In DLSZ, Melecio was a scoring dynamo who once dropped 42 points on archrival Ateneo de Manila High School. Did you know, though, that he wasn't even supposed to wear the green and white? "I was supposed to transfer sa UST nung high school," he recalled. "Pero napag-usapan naming family na since si kuya, nasa Zobel na nung time na yun, mas okay sigurong Zobel na lang din ako para magkasama kami." Aljun was referring to older brother Aleck who was also his teammate for three years with the Jr. Archers. If not for Aleck, however, Aljun would have suited up for University of Sto. Tomas High School where good friend Renzo Subido had already committed to play for college. After all, it was Subido, and dad Henry, who had convinced the Melecios to move to Manila from Bukidnon. "The reason talaga why we took the risk to come here was because of Coach Henry," Aljun shared, looking back at the time when all of them were repping Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. "They invited us to play basketball in Manila kaya malaki ang utang na loob namin sa Subido family." While Coach Henry and Renzo have been always there to lend a helping hand, that did not necessarily make the transition any easier - especially for a 10-year-old kid who was born and bred in Valencia City. "Grabe yung sacrifice na ginawa namin just for me to have more opportunities in life. That was a big adjustment not just for me, but also for my parents," Melecio said. He then continued, "Dumating yung time na ayoko nang bumalik sa Manila kasi na-homesick ako. Looking back now, normal lang naman siguro yun, lalong-lalo na bata pa ako." BREAKTHROUGH Make no mistake about it, looking back now, Aljun Melecio has no regrets. As he put it, "It was all worth it." Of course, he also had lady luck smile on him somewhat as, yet again following the footsteps of Subido, he transferred from Lourdes to DLSZ. And there, he found yet another mentor willing to believe in him. "Sina Coach Boris [Aldeguer], pagdating ko sa Zobel, they invited me to join yung practice ng Team A. Nagulat ako na kaya ko naman pala so doon na nag-start yung confidence ko," he said. Indeed, Melecio did not let Coach Boris down as in his first year, he proved to be a building block in their rebuild. While the boys from Alabang eventually ended outside the playoff picture, he had made more than enough noise to get the attention of the Philippine national youth team. There, DLSZ's top gun got his first taste of wearing the flag as part of the Batang Gilas training pool. "Masayang-masaya ako nun na makasama sa practice team dahil dream ko talaga maging part nun," he narrated. "May jersey lang and makasali lang ako sa practice, masayang-masaya ako." There, Melecio showcased his skills alongside other promising prospects such as Nieto twins Mike and Matt as well as Jolo Mendoza of Ateneo, Renzo Navarro of San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and Jollo Go of Hope Christian High School. And there, yet again, he knew full well he had to prove himself. During training itself, the new kid on the block believed he was doing so. At the same time, however, he had to come face-to-face with another beast altogether - how to get to practice in the first place. As it turned out, the then-13-year-old had to commute from south to north each and every time he participated in Batang Gilas training. How did his trips go? "From Alabang, mag-tricycle ako to [Alabang] Town [Center] then jeep going to Starmall [Alabang]. After nun, bus to Magallanes, MRT, then LRT, tapos jeep ulit," he shared. He then continued, "So papunta pa lang to Moro, pagod na ako. Then after practice, mag-commute na naman pauwi." Fortunately for him, there were also kind hearts like the Nieto twins who took him to the LRT station in Katipunan or Evan Nelle whom he rode with going back south. Still, around 33km and about an hour separated DLSZ in the south and Ateneo's Moro Lorenzo Sports Center in the north - indeed, that was some sort of workout already. BREAKDOWN In the long run, that was, unfortunately, much too much for young Aljun Melecio. While wearing the flag would have meant much, he also felt circumstances, such as that hell of a commute that cost him PHP 200 for a one-way trip, held him back from giving his all. Instead, Melecio felt he could do much more if he just rechanneled his energy to DLSZ. "After ilang weeks na ginagawa ko yung routine na yun, I started asking myself kung paano maayos yung priorities ko. Pinakiramdaman ko kung saan ako mag-iimprove so I talked to Coach Boris," he said. He the continued, "And I decided na mag-all in sa Zobel." All in for the Jr. Archers, he did, and boy, did it prove to be the right call. He was just getting started in UAAP 76, slowly but surely getting a grasp of both his capabilities and confidence as he helped the green and white barge back into the Final Four. Then in Season 77, it all clicked as he shot the green and white to the second rung of the stepladder all while putting up per game counts of 16.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.3 steals. Without a doubt, he willed his way into the Mythical Team that included the Nieto twins, his batchmates in Batang Gilas. The following year, with averages of 22.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.3 steals, he carried DLSZ all the way to the Finals where they stole one game from eventual champion Nazareth School of National University. And oh, he was the unanimous MVP of Season 78, besting the likes of future Gilas Pilipinas pool members Justine Baltazar and Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan. Even then, though, he wouldn't call himself the best of the best. "I didn't think na I belonged kasi never kong gustong isipin na ganun ako," he said. He then continued, "Ang alam ko lang, I worked extra hard, I had extra motivation to play. Thankfully, coach Boris supported my decision and dahil dun, na-boost yung confidence ko." BREAK FREE From there, Aljun Melecio did nothing but go onto greater and greater heights in La Salle's Srs. squad. Never tell him he has accomplished anything, though, as he would be the first to tell you that you're wrong. Up until now, he feels that he is yet to prove himself. He hopes to prove that he has what it takes to be behind the wheel for the Green Archers' new era. He hopes to prove that he could bounce back following the worst statistical season for him. And he hopes to prove that he has every right to be mentioned in the same breath as his one-time teammates in the Batang Gilas pool and his batchmates who are now part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool. "Lahat naman, ginagawa kong motivation," he said. "May it be positive or negative, we all have our timing so I'm just being patient para sa kung anuman ang ibibigay na chance sa akin." If and when that next shot at wearing the flag comes along, Melecio only vows to do what he has never stopped doing. Asked about getting a golden opportunity at the Gilas pool, he answered, "That's still a dream for me. I know I still have a lot to prove." He then continued, "But I will give my all if given the chance to represent. I always do." If and when that time comes, there would be no more 33km distance, one-hour travel time, or PHP 200 cost. Still, Aljun Melecio would work just as hard - if not more - as he did when he once had to commute south to north just to get to practice. Don't forget, proving himself is already second nature to him. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

2020 king of recruiting crown remains on UP’s head

Who was our King of Recruiting in 2018? Find out here. Who was our King of Recruiting in 2019? Find out here. --- From 2007 to 2015, the University of the Philippines only had 13 wins to show in 126 games total. That time is self-deprecatingly called in Diliman as the dark days. Due to that disappointing standing, the Fighting Maroons had the toughest time bringing in recruits. And due to that lack of pieces to the puzzles, they lost even more. Safe to say, State U was stuck in a vicious cycle in the dark days. That’s not to say they didn’t have blue-chip recruits back then as in their time, all of Woody Co, Mark Juruena, Mike Gamboa, Kyles Lao, Jett Manuel, and Mikee Reyes were among the best high school players. Only, a blue-chip recruit or two does not make a team. Fast forward to now and oh, how things have changed. Last year, UP was hailed as ABS-CBN’s King of Recruiting alongside University of the East. “On the strength of the transfers of Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero, the Fighting Maroons… are worthy of the title,” it said then. And the season before that, the maroon and green was also up there with the best of them in terms of recruitment, having brought in the likes of eventual Season MVP Bright Akhuetie, Will Gozum, and Jaydee Tungcab. Indeed, there was nowhere to go but up. That has only continued this year as UP has left no doubt that it is now a force to reckon with in terms of recruitment. Early on, they already had a solid haul in Joel Cagulangan, once the best point guard in high school, and tireless workhorse Malick Diouf. And then, the shock of shocks. As it turned out, Nazareth School of National University stalwarts Carl Tamayo and Gerry Abadiano were going to be Fighting Maroons. Meaning, for the first time in recent history, the most promising prospect coming out of high school is headed to Diliman. Not only that, State U also answered its biggest question heading into next season – the question at point guard, filling in for Jun Manzo. But as it turned out, they weren’t done just yet - no, our friends, they weren’t done just yet. Tamayo and Abadiano’s departure from National U was shocking, without a doubt, but CJ Cansino’s exit from University of Sto. Tomas was even more so. Cansino, against his will, decided to move on from his alma mater since 2015 due to personal reasons. Fortunately for him, he landed on his feet. Now, the Fighting Maroons have ready-made replacement for Rivero as well as a leader in the shades of Paul Desiderio for UAAP 84. And that, our friends, is why we have no choice but to put the 2020 King of Recruiting crown on UP’s head once more. Tamayo and Abadiano are the bluest of blue-chip recruits this year and Cagulangan, Cansino, and Diouf are among the most talented transferees, but also joining them in the maroon and green will be scoring machine RC Calimag from La Salle Green Hills, burly big Miguel Tan from Xavier High School, Filipino-American playmaker Sam Dowd, Filipino-Australian tower Ethan Kirkness, physical forward Jancork Cabahug from University of Visayas, and versatile wing CJ Catapusan from Adamson University. The former Bullpups are guaranteed ato be contributors even as rookies while Calimag, Tan, and Dowd are going to shore up a bench that had just lost Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan. Of course, Diouf, Kirkness, Cansino, Cabahug, and Cagulangan are still serving residency, but when they will be eligible, they will get a shot at a squad that will look brand new. All of Bright Akhuetie, J-Boy Gob, David Murrell, Noah Webb, and Rivero are graduating players while Paras is only guaranteed to play one more year. That means that after Season 83, the Fighting Maroons may very well have to fill six spots. That means that UP is not only beefing up for UAAP 83, it is also securing its future. If not for the shock of shocks, though, the crown would have been claimed by De La Salle University which sent a statement that it is back and better than ever. Justine Baltazar and Aljun Melecio may be playing their fifth and final years in college, but the green and white’s future has only brightened following this prolonged preseason. First and foremost, Kevin Quiambao, the third leg in that National U tripod of talent out of high school, has the capability and confidence to follow in the footsteps of Baltazar. Hopefully, he will be eligible for Season 83, but if not, what’s certain is he will be playing in UAAP 84. Alongside him as pieces for the future are super scorers CJ Austria and Emman Galman, all-around swingman Joshua Ramirez, and Filipino-Americans Jeromy Hughes, Kameron Vales, and Philips bros. Benjamin and Michael. Among all those, Jonnel Policarpio, likened to a young Arwind Santos, has the highest upside, but the Fil-Ams have much potential as well. And don’t forget that Evan Nelle, the primetime playmaker from San Beda University, is just getting primed and prepped to take the reins when Melecio leaves. Of course, the caveat here is that we are all in uncharted territory due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis. And in that light, the next season of the UAAP remains far away and a lot could still happen until then. While majority of the local blue-chip recruits have already committed, talents from abroad and transferees from other schools could still come and change the game. With that being said, there remains no doubt that UP and La Salle have made the biggest noise in the offseason. However, it’s not actually the Fighting Maroons or the Green Archers who got the lion’s share of the best graduating players in the 2020 NBTC 24. Yes, that honor belongs to Lyceum of the Philippines University which is finally reaping the rewards of its rising Jrs. program with NCAA 95 Jrs. MVP John Barba and Batang Gilas playmaker Mac Guadana being promoted as full-fledged Pirates. Guadana could do it all and looks like the next great guard in the Grand Old League while fearless slasher is Barba is a perfect complement to him. Add another fiery guard in John Bravo and sweet-shooting big man Carlo Abadeza and LPU has restocked its coffers after losing Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee and Cameroonian powerhouse Mike Nzeusseu. In all though, the 2020 NBTC 24 was dominated by UP… and San Beda. Of the annual rankings’ 15 graduating players, four would be Fighting Maroons and another four would be Red Lions. Yes, San Beda’s grassroots program is back on track with its Jrs. championship core all remaining in red and white. Rhayyan Amsali, ranked no. 1 in the 2020 NBTC 24, is the most college-ready high school player while Justine Sanchez is a long-limbed forward who could turn out to be the next Calvin Oftana, you know, the NCAA 95 MVP. Yukien Andrada, meanwhile, is only continuing to develop his two-way game and Tony Ynot is a 3-and-D weapon who had even left an impression on Jalen Green. And hey, as somebody said, don’t sleep on the UAAP’s three-time defending champions. Ateneo may already be missing Isaac Go, Thirdy Ravena, Adrian Wong, and Nieto twins Mike and Matt and they may not be making noise as of late, but they are still welcoming Dave Ildefonso and Dwight Ramos with open arms. Ildefonso will only be good to go come UAAP 84, but Ramos is already being seen by head coach Tab Baldwin as a difference-maker for the Blue Eagles in Season 83. Eli, Dwight’s younger brother, is also in the mix to backstop SJ Belangel and Tyler Tio. Note also that former blue-chip recruit Inand Fornilos may very well finally get his shot while both Jolo Mendoza and Raffy Verano are also back. Ateneo’s foe in the Finals last year also reloaded quite a bit as for the third year in a row, UST will be sending the Tiger Cubs’ best player to the Srs. squad. Following in the footsteps of Cansino and Mark Nonoy, post player Bismarck Lina will be a Growling Tiger next season. Alongside him to fortify the frontcourt are Christian Manaytay, Bryan Samudio, and Bryan Santos while bolstering the backcourt are Joshua Fontanilla and Paul Manalang. Speaking of fortifying the frontcourt, Far Eastern University is the team that got the biggest boost in terms of size. With 6-foot-7 Nigerian Emman Ojoula’s residency over and done with, the go-go guards of the Tamaraws have yet another weapon to burn opponents with. CESAFI MVP Kevin Guibao and transferee Simone Sandagon are no slouches either while Cholo Anonuevo has a roster spot waiting for him if and when he decides to come home after trying his luck in the US. RJ Abarrientos no longer appears here as he was already in FEU’s list last year. These are the new faces to see for the other teams: CSB Blazers LETRAN Knights JRU Heavy Bombers MAPUA Cardinals ADAMSON Soaring Falcons UE Red Warriors --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2020

There will be no Carl Tamayo if not for Goldwin Monteverde

Carl Tamayo had always been a tall kid. He wasn't always a basketball player, though. Actually, when he was a pre-teen, he was very much into another sport. "Hindi pa talaga ako naglalaro ng basketball nun. Bilyar talaga ako," he said in a previous interview. This, even though at that time, he already stood at 5-foot-10. Little by little, though, he realized his height was just right for basketball. And then Goldwin Monteverde entered the picture to guide him into taking full advantage of that height. "Sobrang importante po sa akin si coach Gold kasi hindi naman ako magiging Carl Tamayo kung hindi dahil kila coach," he said in last Friday's The Prospects Pod. Not long after, he was a Rookie of the Year with Adamson High School and then a two-time champion and Finals MVP with Nazareth School of National University. At the same time, Tamayo also stood as a pillar for Batang Gilas and is seen as a future piece of the puzzle for Gilas Pilipinas itself. All of it, because coach Gold never failed to set his mind right. "Nahirapan din kami kasi yung isa't-isa naman sa amin, kaya maglaro, kaya umiskor e. Kaya kinausap kami ni coach Gold na para mabuo yung team namin, dapat kung ano yung role na ibinigay sa amin, gawin namin," he shared. He then continued, "Dapat mag-step down kami sa gusto namin kasi doon lang mabubuo yung team." For the now-6-foot-7 modern big man, though, coach Gold means much more to him than just an on-court coach. "Pinakanatutunan ko sa kanya is yung pano lumaban sa hirap ng buhay. Yung basketball, mahirap siya matutunan, pero ang laging nire-remind sa amin ni coach Gold is yung paano ka magiging mabuting tao sa ibang tao," he shared. Combine his discovery and development in basketball with life lessons and Tamayo has a father figure he could always turn to in coach Gold. "Lahat ito, bigla na lang sumulpot e so sobrang blessed ako kay God na ito pala binigay niya sa akin na sa paraang ito, matutulungan ko yung pamilya ko," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2020

Alapag: Bolick, Perez future stars

PBA legend Jimmy Alapag singled out NorthPort’s Robert Bolick and Terra Firma’s CJ Perez as players with a bright future in the pro league during The Philippine STAR sports talk show “Beyond The Game With The Dean,” adding that he’s a big fan of the young bucks who suited up for Gilas at the FIBA World Cup in China last year......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 14th, 2020

Jalen Green for Gilas? ‘It could be a possibility’

MANILA, Philippines—Despite the hurdles, Fil-American Jalen Green is still not discounting the possibility of suiting up for Gilas Pilipinas sometime in the future. “It could be a possibility,” said Green in a Zoom press conference for the NBA Republika Playoffs Thursday. Green is of Filipino descent. His mother Bree hails from Ilocos Sur and his […] The post Jalen Green for Gilas? ‘It could be a possibility’ appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 13th, 2020

2013 Gilas Pilipinas team truly a special family says LA Tenorio

Seven years ago today, Gilas Pilipinas scored arguably its most famous win in program history. In 2013, Gilas took down South Korea in the semifinals of the FIBA-Asia Championship, sending the Philippines all the way to the FIBA World Cup. Members of that fateful team became instant legends and more than the talent present, the incredible bond by that Gilas iteration proved to be one of their keys to incredible success. "That group was really special," guard LA Tenorio said. "The whole process of going to the World Cup was an experience in itself. We've gotten to know each other kahit magkaka-laban kami," LA added. Aside from Tenorio, members of the 2013 Gilas Pilipinas team, or Gilas 2.0, were Jimmy Alapag, Jeff Chan, Jayson Castro, Gary David, Ranidel De Ocampo, Gabe Norwood, Marcus Douthit, Larry Fonacier, June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, and Marc Pingris. For LA, that group turned into a family, and future Gilas teams can make a great example of them to achieve and even surpass what they did almost a decade ago. "I think if the next group would really want to go to the next level like the World Cup or the Olympics, the team really has to be special hindi lang sa basketball," Tenorio said. "The relationship outside basketball is really important. It wasn't just like being teammates, we really became a family," LA added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

GILAS: 'Stretch 4' an ideal replacement for Blatche says coach Chot

Andray Blatche is not getting any younger, and looking at the current Gilas Pilipinas calendar, it seems like the national team is more than ready to move on from him as the no. 1 naturalized player. Which begs the million-dollar question though: Who should replace Andray Blatche on Gilas Pilipinas? There are some names, the more popular ones now are Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee and former PBA champion with San Miguel Chris McCullough. Getting a naturalized player is not as simple as it sounds. Brownlee has been a favorite for the longest time and yet it appears his naturalization process hasn't moved forward in the slightest. It might be a difficult venture to replace Blatche but when Gilas is ready to go, the national team should prioritize one type of player according to former coach Chot Reyes. "We need a tall guy who can also play outside," Reyes said on Coaches Unfiltered. "That's the way we give other teams problems, if our big man can also be a stretch 4-5 then that's the perfect type of player," he added. While a dual-threat big man is the ideal option, the development of our young prospects gives Gilas room to get creative. If the future national team is bannered by skilled seven-footers like Kai Sotto and AJ Edu, another big man might prove to be redundant. Adding a versatile wing piece could be better in that future scenario.  "If Kai and AJ Edu develop as we think they should, then maybe we can look at somebody that is more skillful," Reyes said. "More all-around wingman type that can play also play guard, forward, and shoot the three," he added. Thinking about the ideal naturalized player for Gilas Pilipinas sure is exciting, but the process of getting one on board entails a lot of realities the program must face. For one, Gilas must find a good and young enough player that is not already-affliated with a different national team. Said player must be willing to play for the Philippines too. "There just one very important thing. If that player is really good, chances are he's going to play for his [own] country or he's already play in the national team. Andray Blatche was really a one-in-a-million situation for us," Reyes said. "If we have a 7-footer out there that's pretty young, and he has to be willing to give up his citizenship. Well, not really his citizenship, but if he plays for the Philippine national team, he cannot play anywhere else. It's a difficult proposition. It entails a lot of planning and forward looking," coach Chot added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 9th, 2020

Philippine basketball body on constant lookout for Fil-Am Gilas prospects

Though the pandemic has put national team plans and programs on standstill, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is keeping an eye on Filipino-American prospects making noise abroad as possible part the GIlas Pilipinas’ future in both the youth and men’s teams......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 7th, 2020

7-foot Fil-Am Sage Tolentino officially offered scholarship by Kansas

Another Filipino-American may very well be making the Philippines proud in the US NCAA sometime soon. Sage Tolentino, a talented teen born and bred in Hawaii to Filipino parents, has formally received a scholarship offer to study and suit up for the Kansas Jayhawks. "Blessed to receive an offer from Kansas," the 7-foot, 16-year-old posted in his Instagram. "Thanks to coach [Bill] Self for believing in me."         View this post on Instagram                   Blessed to receive an offer from Kansas. Thanks to Coach Self and Coach Townsend for believing in me. All glory to God!???????? #jayhawks #dreams #blessed A post shared by Sage Tolentino ???????????? (@sagee23_) on Jul 23, 2020 at 1:06pm PDT Kansas is a three-time national champion in the US NCAA and had been home to NBA stars such as Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins. The Jayhawks also produced the likes of Wilt Chamberlain and Paul Pierce. Last year, Tolentino posted per game counts of 13.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks to stand as the pillar in Maryknoll High's back-to-back championships in the Hawaii High School Athletics Association. With that, he was mentioned as a probable piece in the future of Gilas Pilipinas......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 24th, 2020