Plenty of familiar names made it to Gilas Pilipinas’ 24-man pool for the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
There are national team mainstays like Kiefer Ravena, Japeth Aguilar, Christian Standhardinger, and Troy Rosario.
And, of course, the seven Gilas cadets — namely Isaac Go, Thirdy Ravena, the Nieto twins, Allyn Bulanadi, Rey Suerte, and Jaydee Tungcab. Collegiate standouts like Justine Baltazar, Dave Ildefonso, Kobe Paras, and the Gomez de Liano brothers were also named to the 24-man pool that will face Thailand on February 20, before facing Indonesia on the 23rd.
But if one name surprised many, it is Dwight Ramos.
Many are left wondering, who is he and why is he immediately part of the Gilas pool?
For starters, several scouts have already been fascinated with the Filipino-American since he was in high school.
“Si Dwight, kilala na ‘yan sa community since he was in high school [Mater Day and Walnut in California],” said a team manager from a storied college who did not want to be named.
“Also, he was recruited by a Division I school, so that should speak for itself.”
Ramos, who is just 20 years young, stands at 6-foot-5. And according to an Ateneo rival head coach who also did not want to be named, he could play multiple positions.
“All-around siya, could play point to power forward.”
Ramos played for two years in Cal State Fullerton before transferring to Division 2 school Cal Poly Pomona in 2018.
Mid 2019, Dwight decided to come home and join his younger brother Eli in Ateneo.
And he has impressed during the games of Ateneo’s Team B.
“When we faced him, he was the main guy so siya gumagawa lahat — score, rebound, and defend,” said the coach. “If he’s with better teammates, kaya niya mag-point.
“But his position for me is the wing talaga.”
Ramos will only have two playing years in Ateneo, including the UAAP Season 83 tournament. But for the team manager and the coach, the decision to get him into the Gilas pool this early is a no-brainer.
“Skills-wise, he is more polished than Thirdy [Ravena]. Thirdy is more athletic, though, but Dwight is taller,” the coach said.
“He has all the potential to be better than Thirdy,” added the team manager.