15 GILAS PILIPINAS CALL UPS



A lot of old names in this list.


There is a naturalized player as well as three Japanese league imports. Also, there is one PBA player. I don't know if this is a good thing - considering that Will Navarro has yet to play for Northport.


Nonetheless, as far as cadet pools go, this is good for Gilas Pilipinas.


I like how Rhenz Abando and Sherwin Concepcion made the list. I have been following the NCAA nowadays and I must say, I hate the fact that Abando is playing for the Letran Knights because he could have helped Concepcion in UST. With that said, Abando is such an anomaly in the sense that he is going to light things up regardless of being a starter or a sub and regardless of his main assignment. The reigning NCAA MVP can flex his athleticism by doing a lot of awesome aerial shits but it's awesome to see him volleyball-swatting a lot of jump shots and lay-ups.


With regards to Concepcion, I haven't really seen his gameplay because I really stayed away from UST basketball this season. Checking out his YT highlights though and I am amazed at his growth as a player after living in the shadows of Abando, Mark Nonoy, CJ Cansino, and others.


I am kind of shocked that Thirdy Ravena is already 26 years old. I guess he'll probably play in the PBA when the B-League opportunities dry up. Thirdy choosing Japan over the PBA started this whole globalization thing and while this is a good thing for the players, it makes it harder for these guys to practice together.


The best names on this list apart from Thirdy, Dwight Ramos, Abando, Ange Kouame, and Justine Baltazar are the kids - most especially Lebron Lopez and Carl Tamayo. Let's just say this - that silver medal is a bad stain on every Filipino that followed our brand of basketball... but for a 19-year-old kid playing with June Mar Fajardo and a lot of PBA pros, this is a good thing. Tamayo is also breaking out on what could be a stellar basketball career. I guess I can say the same thing with SJ Belangel, RJ Abarrientos, James Spencer, Geo Chiu, and Will Navarro - who is really getting a lot of conditioning to prepare for his PBA debut.







I guess the downside of every cadet pool is how they are going to be chosen. Aside from this pool, the PBA is set to offer their players. Again, college players are most likely in the expertise of Tab Baldwin than that of Chot Reyes. Also, what happens to the Gilas cadet tags of Javi Gomez de Liano, Gian Mamuyac, Justin Arana, and Shaun Ildefonso?


Also, I don't know what would happen if the games and the training matches happen in the middle of the UAAP tournament. In the original version of Gilas Pilipinas, the UAAP season ruined the chances of Greg Slaughter, Aldrech Ramos, and JR Cawaling from playing in the squad. Unlike in the original version, 11 of the 15 players in this list are still attending college ball.


Lastly, Gilas ball tends to restrict a player's growth. Again from the original Smart-Gilas version, Chris Tiu went from shooter to playmaker, Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz were scorers that were turned into defensive specialists, and Dylan Ababou went from a star with a green light to a borderline reserve when Rajko Toroman got himself PBA support. I think this is going to be a different case since the PBA is hellbent on sending their troops as a way to get rid of the silver debacle.

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