Gilas women coach upbeat on team's future with Fil-Am prospects

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Gilas women coach upbeat on team's future with Fil-Am prospects
Gilas women head coach Patrick Aquino (C) sees a bright future for the national team with prospects like Mai-Loni Henson (L) and Stefanie Berberabe
FILE / GoHuskies.com / Westmont

MANILA, Philippines — The Gilas Pilipinas women's program is in no shortage of success in recent years, highlighted by a gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

But Gilas women coach Patrick Aquino only sees his team improving more than ever with an influx of exciting Filipino-American prospects expected to join the program in the near future.

According to Aquino, the invaluable experience of playing in a competitive atmosphere like the US NCAA, coupled with the already existing talents of homegrown hoopers will do great things for the national team.

"With those talents coming in, and helping out the others back home, it will be a great future for women's baketball in the Philippines," Aquino said.

The tactician is set to bear witness to a US tryout for the Gilas women's squad on June 4 and 5 (June 5 and 6, Manila time) organized by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Fil-Am Nation Select.

It will be headlined by University of Washington alum and newly minted dual citizen Mai-Loni Henson, as well as NAIA MVP and national champion Stefanie Berberabe.

While Aquino doesn't expect immediate gelling with Gilas women mainstays here in the Philippines, having talents like Henson and Berberabe among others will be a shot in the arm for the ever-growing women's hoops program.

"I know for a fact that of course, when you're new to the team there's going to be an adjustment period," Aquino said.

"But I think with their knowledge of basketball, it would be very easy for us to adjust with that experience... [The team's] level will be better in the future," he added.

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