Gilas Women head coach Patrick Aquino revealed on 2OT the 16-woman pool of the country for the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
Headlining the squad is Mai-Loni Henson as she will be the designated “naturalized” player of the team.
Henson, who stands at 6-foot-1, played for Division III French team Al Aplemont after graduating from Washington.
Also set to make their Gilas Women debut are Monique Del Carmen of the Taguig Lady Generals, Mikka Cacho, and Katrina Guytingco
Making her return to the national team is Gemma Miranda, as well.
Holdovers from the 2019 team that won gold are Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, Clare Castro, Khate Castillo, Chack Cabinbin, Andrea Tongco, Camille Clarin, Ella Fajardo, Angel Surada, Kristine Cayabyab, and Karl Ann Pingol.
“Very difficult,” said Aquino about forming a team for the SEA Games. “It started after the Southeast Asian Games, biglang nagkaroon ng pandemic. Nevertheless, we still have to deliver and perform para sa kababayan natin.
“Nung nangyari sa atin, especially dun sa injury ni Jack [Animam], mahirap.”
It is still unknown whether the Vietnam SEA Games Organizing Committee will be following the FIBA rules for eligibility.
If not, Aquino is planning to add Stephanie Berberabe, Malia Bambrick, and Gabi Bade to the pool.
For the 3×3 team, Clarin will replace Animam while the trio of Bernardino, Castro, and Pontejos returns.