Twelve Filipino-American prospects have confirmed their attendance for Gilas Pilipinas Women’s tryouts set to be held from June 4-5 in La Verne, California.
The tryouts were organized by Fil-Am Nation Select with coordination with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
Meanwhile, supervising the tryouts are Gilas Women’s program director Patrick Aquino and Fil-Am Nation founder Cris Gopez.
“We want to the SBP, Coach Pat Aquino, and Butch Antonio for the partnership of creating opportunities for all the female hoopers around the world,” said Fil-Am Nation.
“Finding the best talent isn’t always easy, but when a great group of leaders come together for the goodness of their country, finding the talent becomes a bit easier. Super proud SBP in taking the step with us in building the bridge.”
Headlining the field is Mai-Loni Henson.
Henson, who stands 6-foot-1, is a product of University of Washington. Following four stellar years serving her school, Henson headed to France to play for Division III team Al Aplemont.
Henson has already obtained her Philippine passport and can fill the naturalized player position.
Another intriguing prospect is 5-foot-4 guard Erica Cray, sister of six-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Eric.
Erica ended her collegiate career with Huston Tillotson where she played both basketball and athletics. She went into coaching afterward, eventually becoming the head coach of Cedar Creek High School in 2020.
Other bigs that have confirmed attendance include San Diego’s Kiera Oakry, Hawaii-Hilo’s Kayla Revelo, and Pepperdine’s Malia Bambrick.
There will be a plethora of guard’s present as well in New Mexico State’s Mel Isbell, Nevada’s Gabby Rones, Fresno Pacific’s Jessica Malzarte, Westmont’s Stefanie Berberabe, Southwestern’s Lynette Garon, North Park’s Angie Villasin, and new addition Alina Daffon of Cal State Maritime.
A total of 30 players received invites, but 18 could not make it due to prior commitments or not gaining clearance from the NCAA.
Other invitees were the Molina sisters Chanelle, Cherilyn, and Celina; Ella Fajardo; Gabi Bade; Lexi Marks; Kayla Padilla; Vanessa De Jesus; Aurea Gingras; Lei McIntosh; Janelle Ganer; Lei Talaro; Jayda Villareal; and Daylani Ballena.
Jack Animam was also invited but had other commitments that have been scheduled prior.
“For those that opt-out and couldn’t make it, we also want to thank you as we understand the crazy schedules of athletes,” said the group.