MANILA, Philippines — Overseas prospects are expected to become a staple source of talent for the Gilas Pilipinas women’s program in the near future.
This as witnessed by Gilas women head coach Pat Aquino while on his months-long trip to the US to build connections with top Filipino-American talents who have expressed interest in donning the Gilas colors.
“It’s very bright and promising talaga,” said Aquino of the prospects he was able to observe.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of young talents for the future, that’s why I’m so happy,” he added.
Aquino held a talent showcase in Orange County, California, with firm Fil-Am Nation Select organizing the event.
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.
“If we have this kind of talent, it’s probably time to build a team for the Under-16, Under-18, kasi meron na tayong pool of talent coming over,” said Aquino.
“That’s one thing na [makakatulong] in preparation for the seniors, and the 3×3 events,” he continued.
For the longest time, the Gilas women’s program has focused on talents from collegiate leagues in the country.
But with a wider net cast with Aquino’s efforts, as well as the willingness of Fil-Am talents to represent the country, the potential of Philippine women’s basketball rose exponentially.
Pleasantly surprised, Aquino hopes to see these prospects work their way to be eligble for the national team.
“I’m just happy na marami palang Filipina na mahilig magbasketball. It’s in their blood, sabi nga nila… Sana magawa nila yung mga papers nila and hopefully be ready for upcoming events and tournaments for Gilas Pilipinas women,” he said.
The Gilas Pilipinas women squad is set to defend the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games later this year, and, if schedule permits, will also be joining other international tournaments after a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.