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Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Wishlist for the Next Gilas Cadet Pool

A key part of the Gilas Pilipinas program is it's cadet pool whose latest edition included Kevin Alas, Jake Pascual, Ronald Pascual, and Garvo Lanete. The latest Gilas cadet batch has already turned professional as they got tabbed in the 2014 PBA Draft.

It is my personal view that the Gilas cadet program has to continue in order to provide the right environment for player development, communicating the vision of the Gilas program to future national team members and let them assimilate it, and provide much needed international exposure for the younger generation of basketball talents. Ideally the cadet pool should be a collection of the best amateur basketball players in the land.

Big Men

Inclusion in the Gilas cadet pool will bode well for the development of our young big men and here are a few names I wish to see included in that pool. The development of a steady stream of young and talented big men is a must for a program that hopes to have success at the international level.

Arnold Van Opstal

Generously listed at 6'9", Arnold Van Opstal has seen tremendous improvements since his high school days and is now a key element in the Green Archers' gameplan. I feel that the Fil-Austrian big man is among the key big men that will carry the fight for future national teams when the likes of Fajardo, Slaughter, and Aguilar retires.

Norbert Torres

Former RP Youth Team member Norbert Brian Torres is playing out his last year of eligibility for the DLSU Green Archers in the UAAP. Before he turns pro in the PBA Draft of 2015, he could use some time to develop with the Gilas cadets. His international experience should come in handy. At 6'6", Torres adds much needed size and muscle to the power forward spot.

Norbert Torres Philippine basketball
(photo from

Jeth Troy Rosario

NU Bulldog Troy Rosario can bring in some experience from his stint with the RP Youth Team when he was younger. The 6'7" Cagayan native plays as a stretch 4 for the Bulldogs. He has good ball handling skills for his size, excellent footwork, and a reliable medium range jumper.

Troy Rosario Philippine basketball
(photo from

Aljon Mariano

Growling Tigers star Aljon Mariano is undersized at power forward. He is generously listed at 6'3". Most guards in international play are about his height as well. But he can learn a thing or two from Jean Marc Pingris who has had success at the world stage despite being an undersized power forward. Mariano is a known workhorse and hustle is a big part of his game like Pingris. Plus he can shoot from outside and can slide to small forward in stretches of games. I look at him as a copy of Pingris with an outside shot or a smaller version of Ranidel De Ocampo.

Aljon Mariano Philippine basketball
(photo from

Mark Belo

FEU Tamaraw Mark Belo is a tireless worker whose energy is boundless. The 6'4" athletic South Cotabato native can shoot the ball from long range. He makes his living off offensive rebounds and putbacks. Hustle is his calling card. He is also adjudged the UAAP's best power forward in UAAP Season 77. He has some international experience as he was part of the 2013 Sinag Pilipinas men's national basketball team that won the gold in Myanmar.In the recent UAAP Season 77 Final Four playoffs, he showed nerves of steel in carrying his team to a nail-biting win over the DLSU Green Archers to advance to the Finals opposite the NU Bulldogs.

Mark Belo Philippine basketball
(photo from

Matthew Aquino

Marlou Aquino served many national teams in the past. Although still raw in a lot of areas, Marlou's son Matthew can start his national team duties early while he will still be in his sophomore year at Adamson University. Standing 6'7" at age 17, he could still top off at 6'9", a size that is rare among Filipinos. I want to see him included in the Gilas cadet pool for a simple reason: his development.

Matthew Aquino Philippine basketball
(photo from

Gian Chiu

Gian Chiu is a free agent in the Philippine Basketball Association. He does not have an active contract currently. He is 6'8" and he showed some promise back in his high school and college career. Chiu is only 25 and I believe a stint with the Gilas cadet pool might be good for advancing his basketball career.

Gian Chiu Philippine Basketball

Wing Players

The wing spots are an important element in Gilas' dribble drive offense. Shooters, slashers, lockdown perimeter defenders are most welcome at this spot.

Kobe Paras

The son of PBA legend Benjie Paras can add some length at the wing. 16-year old Kobe is tall for a wing man, standing at least 6'6" and still growing. He is expected to top off at 6'8". He also has a wealth of international experience with stints at the World 3x3 championships, the RP Youth U-16, U-17, and U-18 teams.

CJ Perez

Dubbed as the second coming of Calvin Abueva only quicker and with a more reliable jumper, 6'1" San Sebastian Stag Jaymark Perez could be an exciting addition to the Gilas cadet pool. He is a ball of energy when he plays, he can sky, and can score in volumes.

Kevin Ferrer

The Gilas cadet pool can use some length at the small forward spot and Kevin Ferrer is among the best small forwards currently playing at the amateur level. The lanky UST senior is 6'4" with a lengthy wing span. Ferrer is known for his peskiness and lockdown defense. He can also shoot the three-ball. Ferrer has a wealth of international experience as well having played for national teams to the SEABA and the SEAG.

Rayray Parks

Also a youth team veteran, 6'3" Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. is the son of legendary PBA import Bobby Parks. Rayray is used to playing point guard back in high school but has since played the wing position with his stint at National University.and the 2013 Sinag Pilipinas team that won the basketball gold in the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games.

Jeron Teng

UAAP Season 77 Mythical Team member Jeron Teng is the focal point of the DLSU Green Archers' offense. The 6'2" forward is the son of PBA legend Alvin Teng who also had a stint in the Philippine national team. Jeron has great strength for his size but could use some time to develop his shooting skills.


Gelo Alolino

We are used to seeing  small point guards running the Philippine offense on the hardcourt. Almost always, our point guards are always sub-six feet. National University's Gelo Alolino could add some size at point guard at 6'0". He also brings some international experience from his stint with the RP Youth Team back in the day.

Kiefer Ravena

Ateneo star Kiefer Isaac Ravena may be a small shooting guard at 5'11" but his puso is huge and is a take charge guy. Although a volume scorer, the UAAP Season 77 Most Valuable Player can also create not just for himself but for his teammates as well. He is athletic and his basketball IQ is just amazing. Should the Gilas cadet pool program continue, this is the one guy they cannot miss out on.

Kiefer Ravena Philippine basketball
(photo from

Shej Roi Sumang

Shej Roi Sumang was the UAAP's best point guard in Season 76. This pesky Tondo native is a playmaker and a scorer who can shoot the lights out on a good night. Listed at 5'8", he could be among the next batch of a longline of pesky Philippine point guards.

Roi Sumang Philippine basketball

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, the Gilas Program would still tap the services of PBA players. The players you've listed along with PBA players could form a great training pool for the National Team. It's a long term process and I agree with you that these young players would form a great team potent for a good run at the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championships. :)