Prosper ready for Gilas
Lester Prosper

Prosper ready for Gilas

Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - February 24, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Former PBA import Lester Prosper is looking forward to Indonesia’s game against the Philippines in the FIBA Asia Cup third qualifying window, tentatively in late March, and while he has a lot of respect for Filipino players, it’ll be all business nothing personal in his career-changing role as a naturalized import.

Prosper, 32, made his debut for coach Rajko Toroman’s team in the second window last November, collecting 19 points and 13 rebounds as Indonesia thrashed Thailand, 90-76. In the third window, Indonesia will battle the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand. In the first window in February last year, Gilas crushed Indonesia, 100-70, but Prosper and Indo-American Brandon Jawato weren’t in the roster. Prosper, who played four years with the State University of New York College at Old Westbury varsity in D-3, saw action as an import in 12 countries before suiting up for Columbian in the PBA in 2019. He also played for San Miguel Beer in the Terrific 12 in Macau that year.

On his coming encounter with Gilas, Prosper said “the team that communicates, makes the right plays and plays together … that’s the team that will win.” He’s been holed up in Jakarta practicing with the national squad since the pandemic struck. “We’re working a little due to the situation,” he said. “We’re trying to do the best we can. I’m always confident. If you’re not confident, you can’t play this game or any sport competitively. My message to Filipino fans is continue to support basketball in the Philippines and if you’re an aspiring player, play hard, play smart, be confident, always look to work on different parts of your game because versatility is a necessity and always try to be positive and passionate. My message to Gilas is God bless, stay healthy and be safe in these tough times.”

Prosper said some of his closest PBA friends are CJ Perez, Rashawn McCarthy, Chris Ross, Kelly Nabong and Kiefer Ravena whom “I’m been talking (with) lately (and is a) very cool guy.” The 6-11 center singled out June Mar Fajardo as a player he admires “because of how humble he is…that guy’s a top-class person and I send my love to him and his family.” Prosper said Thirdy Ravena and Kai Sotto will be valuable players for Gilas. “If Thirdy keeps working, he can be a solid energy guy and defensive facilitator because of his quickness, strength and energy,” he noted. “Kai is going to be good, he just needs to bulk up a little and keep his work ethic solid, not get comfortable because people are saying he’s good.” As for Toroman, Prosper said, “Rajko is Rajko, we get into it sometimes in practice but that’s our relationship…overall, he’s a good guy.”

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