Search continues for Gilas women pool members

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Search continues for Gilas women pool members
The Gilas Pilipinas women squad in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup in Amman, Jordan.

MANILA, Philippines – Expanding the pool of players with a mix of local standouts and overseas prospects remains one of the bigger goals for the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team as an early preparation for the future of its improving program.

Though a busy stretch awaits the Filipina cagebelles next year, coach Pat Aquino said the work will not stop for Gilas in searching for talents here through the WNBL and the collegiate ranks, and abroad for Filipino-foreign aspirants.

“We have to keep looking. The larger our pool, the more players, the better for our future,” said Aquino, adding that big pools with up to three rosters are the blueprint of successful countries.  

“We want that to happen soon so we’re looking forward to more players willing to play for the country,” he added.

As of now, Aquino said there are at least 10 Fil-foreign prospects interested to suit up for Gilas with Mai-Loni Henson as the first eligible player after securing her dual citizenship.

Henson, a University of Washington stalwart, will debut for Gilas in the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup pre-qualifiers in February and the Southeast Asian Games in May.

She will be joined by returning anchor Jack Animam in reinforcing the Gilas core that completed its task of retaining Division A status in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup held in Amman, Jordan earlier this month.

Gilas already showed a glimpse of its future in that tourney with four young bloods making their international debut bannered by US NCAA ace guard Ella Fajardo and National University’s Camille Clarin.

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