This is not your kuya's Gilas Pilipinas

Paul Lintag on Jan 09, 2018 05:08 PM
This is not your kuya's Gilas Pilipinas
The future Gilas will still have a ton of shooters since that's one of the national team's greatest strengths but the future Gilas will also have a higher ceiling than any other Philippine team ever assembled ever.

Basketball continues to evolve and the Philippine brand is not exempted from it.

With the release of the initial #23for23 pool for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, one thing is for sure:

Gilas Pilipinas will look a whole lot different in 2023 compared to the one that's currently trying to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

The future Gilas will still have a ton of shooters since that's one of the national team's greatest strengths but the future Gilas will also have a higher ceiling than any other Philippine team ever assembled ever.

Seriously, one quick look at the initial #23for23 list and you'll see 10 players listed at least 6'6". Five of them are listed at least 6'8".

Kai Sotto is already a legit seven footer at 15 while AJ Edu is an ultra-athletic forward that stands 6'11".

The wings and guard spots are also filled with guys who are listed at 6'4".

Guys like Kobe Paras, Thirdy Ravena, and even CJ Perez all have decent size to play at those positions.

In the current #23for23 list, the shortest player is Ateneo's Matt Nieto at 5'10".

Oh and almost all of the players in that list, including the supposed towers and anchors of the team, can shoot from the outside.

It's the time of the basketball unicorn and it's about time the Philippines caught up.

"We have to start somewhere," head coach Chot Reyes on putting up his list of players for 2023.

"That's our dream for Philippine basketball for the longest time. Now we're starting that with that vision in mind, to have tall players who can still play, run, and shoot at the same time," he added.

Following Gilas' first practice for 2018 Monday, it appears that the future can live up to potential.

The room for development is there of course but the foundation seems solid for now.

"Somebody was mentioning in the shooting drills na lahat nakaka-shoot ah. That's the reason why they're here," Reyes said.

"They were all chosen for their shooting ability and that's what we're looking for. The ones that can shoot the long ball and still have the height," he added.

 

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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