Five Fil-Foreign Ballers to look out for this 2018
Philip Matel on Jan 02, 2018 12:11 PM
These five ballers should catch our eye from now until 2023.
As our country is set again to host the FIBA World Cup along with Japan and Indonesia five years from now, it's time to look at the prospects eyed to possibly join the Gilas program and don the national tricolors come 2023.
It's time to look at these five Pinoy ballers today in 2018.
Kamaka Hepa first turned eyes when he went to the Mall of Asia Arena last March and made a great showing at the 2017 National Basketball Training Center League National Finals.
The 6-foot-9 Hepa, who hails from Hawaii, made an impressive showing as he led Filam Sports, albeit in a loss to the San Beda Red Cubs.
Hepa, who traces his Filipino roots in Pangasinan, filled the stat sheet with 27 points along with 13 rebounds, dished out five assists, and made seven blocks.
Hepa has already made a verbal commitment with the Texas Longhorns in the NCAA Division 1 as he is set to join them next season.
However, there may be an issue with his eligibility as spin.ph reported that Hepa still does not have a passport, thus hurting his chances of playing for Gilas. FIBA requires players to have a passport of the country they wish to play for by the age of 16 in order to be eligible for national duty.
Watch his highlight reel below:
The spitfire 6 foot guard has drawn comparisons to NBA MVP Russell Westbrook due to his nuclear athleticism despite his undersized frame. Martin is currently playing for the Arizona State Sun Devils, where he has been making an impact.
Don't be afraid, Martin has expressed explicitly his desires of playing for Gilas.
Born to Filipina Mary Ann Macaspac, Martin has made his name known throughout the West Coast with his heart-stopping play at the Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, California.
Never doubt his spirit as he embodies the mantra of being a player for Gilas: Puso. "I try to capitalize on the little things like playing defense because it's mental and it's mostly heart," Martin said last November.
Watch one of his games against Kansas, where he scored 21 points and stole the ball six times in a win against the Jayhawks.
The 6'9 Fil-Nigerian has already suited up for the Batang Gilas in the FIBA 3x3 Under-18 Championship along with Rhyyan Amsali, Juan Gomez de Liano and Encho Serrano, where they reached the quarterfinals before bowing to Belgium.
Though his time for Gilas may be years away, national team head coach Chot Reyes is already raving about the towering teenager, with Reyes calling Edu "unbelievable".
Reyes added that his work ethic is very much desirable for a young player like Edu, pointing out his maturity and his level of seriousness, something which is to be exciting for a kid his size.
Watch his highlight reel in the Elite Basketball Academy League in England below, where he is feasting the competition, averaging 20.0 points, 15.2 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks in six games.
Watch his highlight reel below:
(Photo Courtesy of Christian David's Twitter account, @cdavid0619)
The four-star prospect Christian David, who hails from Canada but played in Vermont in the United States, currently plays for the Butler Bulldogs, alma mater of Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward in the NCAA Division 1.
The 6'6 guard, who tore his ACL in his junior year of high school, bounced back from his injury, and is seeing limited time with the Bulldogs, averaging 1.7 points in 7.2 minutes of action.
Watch his highlight reel with Vermont Academy below:
Rounding out the five is Sedrick Barefield, who plays with the University of Utah Utes in the PAC-10 Conference of the NCAA Division 1.
Though he may be "just" averaging 10.7 points in 29.3 minutes of action with the Utes, the 6'2" guard will be ready once his number is called, as he scored a career-high 35 points against the University of San Francisco Dons in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii in 2016.
Barefield, who averaged 20.6 points in his senior year at the Centennial High School in Corona, California, first committed to Southern Methodist University, but just stayed there for a semester before transferring to Utah.
Barefield was born to a Filipina mother, Kat.
Watch his 35-point explosion against the Dons below: