Whatever happened to Gilas Pilipinas #23for23?
Paul Kennedy Lintag on Jun 29, 2020 01:30 PM
Most members of the #23for23 have donned national team colors one way or another. But three years before the next World Cup, they've all gone their separate ways.
A couple of years ago, then national team head coach Chot Reyes released the #23for23 list for Gilas Pilipinas.
The list was made up of 23 young prospects that were supposed to be in line for the national team by the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which the Philippines will co-host with Japan and Indonesia.
Two years later, most members of the #23for23 have donned national team colors one way or another. But three years before the next World Cup, they've all gone their separate ways.
Here's a quick update for each of them.
1. Robert Bolick
Bolick ended his NCAA career with a final title for San Beda and was taken third in the 2018 PBA Draft by Northport. He played for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
2. CJ Perez
Perez's Lyceum Pirates battled Bolick's Red Lions for the NCAA title while in college. CJ then became the no. 1 pick of the 2018 PBA Draft and won Rookie of the Year and was Scoring Champion during his first year for Columbian. He also played for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
3. Juan Gomez De Liano
Juan GDL helped UP to a breakthrough UAAP Finals appearance and a return trip to the Final Four in the last two seasons, but opted to sit out the upcoming Season 83. He made his Gilas Pilipinas debut this year during the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
4. Remy Martin
Martin ended a quite successful run with the Arizona State Sun Devils this year, making the all-Pac-12 team by The Associated Press. The junior guard declared for the NBA Draft last March.
5. Matt Nieto
Following another UAAP title for Ateneo, Nieto made the jump to the PBA and was selected by the NLEX Road Warriors via the Gilas draft. Nieto will be loaned to the national team through the 2023 FIBA World Cup. He also made his debut this year during the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
6. Paul Desiderio
After leading the UP Fighting Maroons to a historic UAAP Finals return, Mr. Atin 'To himself was taken fourth in the 2018 PBA Draft by NLEX before he was traded to the Blackwater Elite.
7. Thirdy Ravena
Thirdy ended 2019 as a three-time UAAP champion and Finals MVP for Ateneo. He started 2020 by dominating for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers against Indonesia. Just recently, he became the first Asian import in the Japanese B.League by signing with the San-en NeoPhoenix.
8. J-jay Alejandro
Alejandro was the no. 8 pick of the 2018 Draft by Rain or Shine. After spending his rookie season with the Elasto Painters, he became an unrestricted free agent and has since been picked up by the TNT KaTropa.
9. Ken Tuffin
Ken Tuffin had FEU to another Final Four appearance in the recent UAAP season, extending the Tamaraws' active streak which is the longest in the league. Recently, Tuffin was drafted to play in New Zealand's NBL for Taranaki.
10. Jeo Ambohot
Ambohot was on deck when Letran won a dramatic NCAA 95 Finals against the San Beda Red Lions. He will be part of the Knights' core when they defend their title for Season 96.
11. Kobe Paras
Following his stint at Creighton University, Kobe Paras returned home and suited up for UP. Paras' first season as a Maroon resulted in a return trip to the Final Four and a spot in the UAAP Mythical Team.
12. Dwight Ramos
Ramos will suit up for the three-time champion Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP. But before he could even play for Katipunan, Dwight already debuted for Gilas Pilipinas this year in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
13. Joshua Sinclair
Sinclair was a regular for NU and last played for the Bulldogs in UAAP Season 81.
14. Arvin Tolentino
Tolentino was the 10th pick in the 2019 PBA regular Draft. He signed a one-year deal with Barangay Ginebra earlier this year.
15. Javee Mocon
After his days at San Beda, Mocon went to Rain or Shine as the no. 6 pick of the 2018 PBA Draft. Javee made the All-Rookie team following the PBA's 44th season.
16. Kai Sotto
Kai went to the US to chase his NBA dream and his first stop was with Atlanta's The Skill Factory. Just recently, Sotto signed with the NBA G League and will be part of a select team with top-ranked Jalen Green.
17. Isaac Go
Go was the no. 1 pick of Columbian during the special Gilas Draft of 2019. The former Blue Eagle debuted for Gilas Pilipinas this year in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
18. Abu Tratter
The no. 7 pick of the 2018 PBA Draft, Tratter has had a couple of stints playing for Gilas Pilipinas, including a road game against Australia and a road game against Indonesia this year for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup. He plays with the Alaska Aces in the PBA.
19. AJ Edu
Edu paired up with Kai Sotto during a number of FIBA tournaments last year but he suffered a torn ACL and meniscus during the FIBA U19 World Cup. AJ should return to playing for the University of Toledo once he recovers from injury.
20. Carl Tamayo
Tamayo starred for Nazareth School-National University in the last UAAP season, helping the Bullpups to a season sweep. After taking down FEU for the title, Tamayo was named Finals MVP.
21. Kenmark Carino
Carino mostly played as a back up big man for San Beda in the last NCAA season. In Season 95, the Red Lions swept their way to the Finals but lost to the Letran Knights after three games.
22. Will Gozum
Gozum starred as a high school star for Mapua in the NCAA before moving on to the UP Fighting Maroons. After an unproductive stint in Diliman, Gozum decided to return to the NCAA and will see action for the CSB Blazers.
23. Troy Rike
After a one-year stint with the NU Bulldogs, Rike turned his attention to 3x3 basketball, rising to be a top-5 player in the Philippines.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8