FIBA: Search is on for Gilas Pilipinas' next naturalized player

Paul Kennedy Lintag on Feb 29, 2020 05:41 AM
FIBA: Search is on for Gilas' next naturalized player
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

As of right now, Gilas Pilipinas has no naturalized player on deck.

The hope for the national team is to have more than a couple now moving forward.

Ateneo's Angelo Kouame, the Blue Eagles' young 6'10" behemoth out of Ivory Coast, is one of the main priority players for Gilas Pilipinas.

"We've just put the name of Angelo Kouame in the [naturalization] process, Ideally for me, I think if we can have three names, so that you have also options," SBP President Al Panlilio said.

"So that's a work in progress," he added.

Other names in consideration are PBA players Chris McCullough of San Miguel and Justin Brownlee of Barangay Ginebra.

However, in the case of McCullough, the talks with him are in the very early stages of development.

"We reached out to him. He's committed to be part of it. I guess at the end of the day, commitment and an agreement on a commercial term is different. We're in the early stages of talking to him," Panlilio said on McCullough.

"Angelo pa lang so far. And I think, I heard Congressman Mikee Romero put Justin Brownlee's name in the process, so we'll see," he added.

While Gilas' search for its next naturalized player is important, finding a head coach also takes priority.

Said future head coach might want an input for a naturalized player, after all.

"We're also looking into really a full time coach, right? So, parang we're trying to balance. It depends also on the coach. Baka mamaya ibang player ang gusto niya, di ba. So we wanna make sure lang that we don't get somebody that might not fit the program," Panlilio said.

"It's quite a difficult time to decide. So my first task in fact is to really maybe start the search for a full time coach for the national team. It starts from there," he added.

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