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27 September
03 October, 2021
3 Afril Bernardino (PHI)
16/09/2021
News
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It's go-time for Gilas Pilipinas but can this basketball crazy nation really close the gap?

MANILA (Philippines) - Whatever happens at this edition of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup in Amman, there's no doubt that the Philippines are doing everything they can to take a step closer to the big-hitters on the Continent in coming years.

There are few, if any, more basketball obsessed nations on the planet and as the buzz continues to intensify on the men's side ahead of being co-hosts of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, making moves to also  improve and publicize the women's program is clearly a smart move.

'HUGELY RESPECTED WORLDWIDE FOR THE BASKETBALL PASSION THIS NATION HAS, THERE'S NO MORE POWERFUL GROWTH LEVER THAN THE ONE LABELLED 'SUCCESS ON THE COURT'.

It's easier said than done of course, since they will have to play well in Jordan to avoid the perils of a potential drop down to Division B. Meanwhile their case is not helped by their marquee star Jack Animam missing out after landing a pro-contract at club level in Serbia. 

Despite this setback, the positive is that it underlines how Gilas Pilipinas have got game and can potentially gain exciting and priceless experiences in other parts of the world - in the same way other players have played in the NCAA.

Both are things that can only benefit the national team in the longer term and are indicative of some exciting ballers that are in situ and moving down the talent pipeline.

If you take a glance at the roster which head coach Pat Aquino will utlizie in Amman, the standout feature is that there are so many younger players looking to make their mark on the big stage.


"THE CONTINUED GROWTH OF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL IN THE COUNTRY IS ONE OF THE PILLARS OF THE SAMAHANG BASKETBOL NG PILIPINAS (SBP)"- Ryan Gregorio, SBP Special Assistant to the President

While the small veteran core of Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, and Clare Castro will be essential and lead the way, there are so many debutantes who can't wait to take to the floor.

This feeds into the wider context and positive feeling that in the medium to longer term, future playcallers will have a wider talent pool to choose from because more girls and young women are looking to play the sport. The popularity of basketball is already huge and being fuelled further by a voracious appetite for 3x3.

"The continued growth of women’s basketball in the country is one of the pillars of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and this is why the Federation, along with our partners, will do everything we can to support our Gilas Pilipinas Women,” confirmed SBP Special Assistant to the President Ryan Gregorio.

Hugely respected worldwide for the basketball passion this nation has, there's no more powerful growth lever than the one labelled 'success on the court'.

And, even if it is not immediately available through the results in these next weeks, the most important thing is that work is being undertaken to ensure it is something that can be harnessed in the future.

Philippines play Australia, China and Chinese Taipei in Group B.

FIBA