Who will reinforce Gilas Pilipinas in 2023?
Paul Lintag on Dec 15, 2017 11:59 AM
Isaiah Austin, who will be around 30 years old when the 2023 World Cup tips off, is the prime candidate so far it looks like. (FIBA)
Andray Blatche might stick around at least until through the next World Cup in China and Isaiah Austin sure is a top prospect.
However, the fact remains that Gilas Pilipinas still has no one next in line when it comes to a naturalized player.
And while Andray is stil here and Isaiah has expressed his desire to come over, if the Philippines is to field its strongest team ever for when it hosts the World Cup in 2023, the process of naming the line-up six years from now starts right at this moment.
That includes the process of identifying Blatche's replacement.
"Right now, we’re ready to spearhead that process. We’ve spoken with a couple of congressmen who will author the bill," Congressman Robbie Puno on the naturalization process for Gilas Pilipinas.
"What we’re waiting for is the imprimatur as to who we will really make the effort to naturalize, because when you start that process, it becomes really difficult," he added.
It's just a matter of who now for the SBP when it comes to Gilas Pilipinas' next naturalized player.
Isaiah Austin, who will be around 30 years old when the 2023 World Cup tips off, is the prime candidate so far it looks like.
However, there's still a ton of factors to consider.
"At this point in time, we do not have any particular player yet. My understanding is we’re still looking for the best possible candidate," Congressman Puno said.
"And if our target is 2023, there will be probably enough time for us to make sure we have the right player in terms of his basketball skills, but also his age as well as his attitude," he added.
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