Mix of local, Fil-Foreign talents to strengthen Gilas women program
Gilas women head coach Pat Aquino (C) eyes a mix of both Fil-Foreign and local talents to beef up the national team program
FIBA/Duke Athletics/FILE

Mix of local, Fil-Foreign talents to strengthen Gilas women program

Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - January 17, 2021 - 10:49am

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas women's head coach Pat Aquino knows that the diversity of a team will be a step in the right direction in terms of growing a program.

That's why the decorated tactician doesn't rely heavily on one side of the spectrum, knowing that a wider pool of talent would inevitably bring nothing but good to Philippine women's basketball.

Having been in the US since December, Aquino has been busy in keeping connections open to have an abundance of talent both in the Philippines and abroad for the taking.

"It's not really about separating them, it's more of compiling them... Building bridges," said Aquino of the recruitment strategy of the women's national team for local and Fil-Foreign players.

"Yung mga talent dito [sa US] would come into Manila, experience the culture, and then tayo rin experiencing what they have here," he continued.

While top-level talent from overseas will no doubt help local women's basketball grow, Aquino believes the impact is felt just as well by those Fil-Foreign players who bring their act to the national team.

"We could show them what we have... Baka akala nila ganun ganun lang yung mga Pilipina sa Manila but they really work hard," said Aquino.

"Sobra sobrang talented rin," he added, citing national team mainstay Jack Danielle Animam as an example.

Aquino is expected to continue his scouting tour in the US in the East Coast after having initially started in Orange County, California.

The Gilas Pilipinas women's program is expecting a busy schedule this 2021 if all goes through amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Their 2021 activities will be highlighted by their title defense of the Southeast Asian Games gold medal in November.

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