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Friday, September 19, 2014

Glimpses: Young Big Men in Philippine Basketball

The current rise of Philippine basketball at the world level cannot be achieved without worthy contributions from big men. Naturalized players Marcus Douthit and Andray Blatche has provided the Philippine quintet a different dimension to move up from 45th to 31st in the FIBA World Rankings in the past 2 years. Aside from these two fine gentlemen, the development of homegrown big men are as important to the national team. After all, national coach Chot Reyes hinted that Junemar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, and Japeth Aguilar are an important piece in the future of Philippine basketball. All three stand 6'9" or taller.

In this article let us take a look at the young big men in Philippine basketball who has yet to crack a roster spot in the NCAA or UAAP.

George Isaac Go, 6'7", 200 lbs., Center

George Isaac Go, a graduate of Xavier School was part of the Philippine Under-16 national team in 2011 coached by Philippine basketball legend Rodericko "Olsen" Racela. He is now currently enrolled in Ateneo de Manila University and should be able to land a roster spot within the next 2 years after the expected departure of Chris Newsome, Nico Elorde, Gwyne Capacio, Kiefer Ravena, Fonzo Gotladera, and Von Pessumal.

Kmark Cariño, 6'7", 200 lbs., Center

Kmark Cariño is a freshman at the Ateneo de Manila University. Little is known about this big fellow from Pangasinan who is only 16 years of age. We know that the Philippine Under-17 team that competed in the world stage recently was in need of size. That brings us to wonder whether this kid's size was not complimented with enough skills to be on that team.  Are we seeing the second coming of guys like Frederick Canlas, Gian Chiu, or Jericho de Guzman?

Tzaddy Rangel, 6'7", Center

Tzaddy Rangel, the lanky center from Hope Christian High School and La Salle Greenhills has a reliable jumpshot that can extend beyond the arc and is blessed with decent hops to finish on top of the rim.

AJ Edu, 6'7", Forward

AJ Edu is a London-based Filipino-Nigerian kid who is 6'7" tall at a young age of 14. His parents inquired about how he can be part of the national youth basketball team program after the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas sent out word that it is looking for young talent. While Edu does play a lot of center owing to his height, he moves more like a forward in his video.

Ethan Kirkness, 6'5", Center

At 12 years of age, Ethan Kirkness is 6'5" and he is part Filipino, part Australian. His family also expressed interest in him playing for the Philippines in international competitions. They are also open to moving to the Philippines to advance Ethan's basketball career.

Philippine basketball
(photo from

JR Sandalo, 6'7", Center

Pampanga's JR Sandalo is only 16 years old. He is said to be on the radar of the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
Philippine basketball
(photo forums)

If you feel there are other young big men not featured here, feel free to get in touch with us and we will be happy to write about them.


Ram Gonzales said...

AJ Edu, looks very promising. saw his clip and saw shades of andray blatche. he's 14 and he'll be 19 come next fiba world. he may be a 7footer by then. sana pwede ng maglaro sa gilas. junmar should get some training in a big man's camp in the states, i think he's got so much more. greg should mold his game into a pau gasol, i think he fits that style. kobe paras will be 21 and who knows, he maybe a legit nba player then and will suren be a great help in the wings. bobby ray parks should play pointguard again. japeth, im still hoping. summing things up, the future looks bright for philippine basketball

Ram Gonzales said...

in that list, AJ Edu, i think, is the most promising. saw his video clip and the first that came to my mind was andray blatche. a big man who's got good handles and can run. he's 14 and stands 6'7 now, he'll be 19 come next fiba world and, maybe, a 7footer by then. i cant help but get over excited with good stuffs coming. junmar has been improving leaps and bounce, sending him to a big man camp in the states may make him the best in asia and one of the bests in the world. greg can mold his game to a pau gasol, i think that style fits him. kobe paras is playing well in the states and may be our tallest 2-guard in history. ray parks may return to playing point guard. japeth, im still not giving up on him. blatche will be 32, hopefully, he wont be a banged up bigman but a man who's figured out how to use his extraordinary gifts very well