IT’S the turn of Gilas Pilipinas women to search and select its own naturalized player for future international tournaments.
No less than Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio, according to program director and head coach Pat Aquino, has given the greenlight on the search as the start of the long process for the further improvement of the rising Filipina ballers.
The development for Gilas women comes in the middle of the Justin Brownlee’s naturalization process in the Congress as Gilas men braces for a loaded 2023 led by the hosting of the FIBA World Cup.
Gilas women, likewise, is in line for a busy year with stints in the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup, Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and FIBA Asia Cup among the few.
Mr. Aquino, with the help of Fil-Am Nation Select founder and Gilas assistant coach Cris Gopez who’s based in the United States, will start his hunt for that naturalized player prospect with an overseas trip next month.
His trip will include reconnecting with the Filipino-foreign players that finally debuted in different stints this year with hopes of assembling them anew for the Gilas’ three-peat bid in the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games.
Gilas women, which will also welcome back veteran anchor Jack Animam from an ACL injury, successfully defended its SEA Games crown in Hanoi earlier this year. — John Bryan Ulanday