Gilas gets boost as Pinoy prospects get tapped as basketball imports abroad

Paul Kennedy Lintag on Jul 09, 2020 12:31 PM
Gilas gets boost as prospects get tapped as imports abroad
Jack Animam to Taiwan, Thirdy Ravena to Japan, and Ken Tuffin to New Zealand as Filipino players are being tapped to play as imports in basketball leagues abroad.

In just the past couple of months, a number of local prospects have been tapped to play as basketball imports abroad.

FEU's Ken Tuffin was the first on the news, getting drafted into the New Zealand's NBL.

[Related: Ken Tuffin has solid showing in triumphant NZ NBL debut]

Tuffin, who helped extend the Tamaraws' Final Four streak in the UAAP last season, has been a solid contributor for Taranaki.

Thirdy Ravena then finally made his highly-anticipated decision, revealing that he will be bound for Japan as the B.League's first-ever Asian import.

[Related: San-En NeoPhoenix big boss calls Thirdy Ravena the Philippines' best player]

Ravena, who left Ateneo as a three-time UAAP champion and three-time Finals MVP, will reinforce San-en NeoPhoenix.

Finally, NU Lady Bulldogs star and double-SEA Games gold medalist Jack Animan is head to Taiwan to play for Shih Hsin University.

[Related: Five-time champ Animam takes talents to Taiwan as college import]

Animam will be seeing action in the University Basketball Association in Taiwan.

"It's an honor. I think we should be honored and flattered that our players are being considered as imports now," Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas director of operations Butch Antonio said.

"I think that only shows that ang respeto sa atin ng mga neighbors natin in other countries, nakikita nila na pwede talagang lumahok ang atin mga manlalaro in their respective leagues," he added.

The variety of leagues involved and the exposure the players get overseas only benefits the national team.

Ravena and Animam are now regulars for Gilas Pilipinas while Tuffin was part of the original #23for23 national team pool.

"As far as developing is concerned, being exposed to different kinds of basketball, in whatever level, it's supposed to make players better basta sine-seryoso niya yung kanyang craft," Antonio added.

"Let me add no, as they always say, if you want to improve, you play against those better than you. Kaya yang mga nabibigyan ng oportunidad maka-laro abroad, maganda yan," SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios said.

Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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