Future looks bright for Gilas women
Gilas Pilipinas women

Future looks bright for Gilas women

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — 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.

For the seasoned mentor, who is also the national women’s team program director, the development will help Gilas reach new heights this year after being stalled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“There are many Filipino-Americans who want to play for the national team. For the future of women’s basketball, there will be a range of players we can tap to play for the country,” he said in “The Chasedown” sports program on OnePH and Cignal.

“This opens the line not just for now but for the future of Gilas basketball back home,” he said from New York City.

With the help of Fil-Am Nation Select’s Cris Gopez, Aquino has traveled across the states and met with an array of Filipina US NCAA Division I talents led by Duke University’s Vanessa de Jesus and University of Pennsylvania’s Kayla Padilla.

Mixing them with local talents would be a huge lift as Gilas eyes stronger contention both in traditional 5-on-5 play and 3x3 after great success recently.

“It will be a good problem to mix them and make a stronger team. We have a lot of talents in the US and also back home,” added Aquino, referring to local aces Jack Animam, Afril Bernardino and Janine Pontejos, among the few.

Aquino is hoping to assemble the beefed-up Gilas core in preparation for a title defense in the 2021 Vietnam SEA Games in November.

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