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Naomi Panganiban, Gabby Ramos join ‘ates’ in Gilas Women for Jones Cup


The hard work continues for the successful Gilas women’s program following their masterful conquest of the FIBA U18 Asia Cup Division B in Shenzhen, China last week.

Program director Pat Aquino said the Gilas women’s senior team will take over when they see action in the 43rd Jones Cup in Taiwan from July 6 to 10 and the pre-qualifiers for the next FIBA World Cup in Rwanda, scheduled from August 19 to 25.

“Then there’s the next SEA Games (2025). We need to win the gold again in the SEA Games,” Aquino told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

Gilas Girls’ Naomi Panganiban and Gabby Ramos will get an early baptism of fire as they will join the Women’s team for the Taiwan meet.

They will play alongside their seniors Jack Animam, Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, Khate Castillo, Chack Cabinbin, and Andrea Tongco.

Completing the team that will face Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and two Chinese-Taipei teams are Stefanie Berberabe, Louna Ozar, Camille Nolasco, Cielo Pagdulagan, Kate Bobadilla, Kristal Yumul, Areej Burgonio, and Camille Claro.

“This is the future of our women’s basketball. I don’t think I’ll have any problems for the next few years. We should continue the program for the U16 and U18 teams with the help of SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) president Al Panlilio and executive director Erika Dy,” added Aquino.

Aquino and head coach Julie Amos graced the forum along with members of the U18 team that swept Division B of the Asia Cup and earned a spot in Division A for 2026.

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The development was welcome news for the Gilas program after its senior team, the Gilas women, previously made it to Division A, as well as the U16 team in the Asia Cup.

However, Amos, a former key player for the national team, said all but one of the members of this U18 team will no longer be eligible for 2026.

2024-FIBA-U18-Asian-Championship-Gilas-def-Samoa Naomi Panganiban, Gabby Ramos join 'ates' in Gilas Women for Jones Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

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“Only one player (Tiffany Reyes) will remain eligible, so I hope the SBP continues to help us,” she said during the forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, MILO, Smart/PLDT, and ArenaPlus, the Philippines’ 24/7 sports app.

“But we have a good problem because more players are asking how they can join the team. It’s just a matter of identifying the talents that will fit the program,” Amos said.

Moving up to Division A for the U18 team was not a complete surprise, according to Aquino.

“We were expecting it. I knew the girls could do it. And it’s a mark for us now around Asia that we can play against the level of China, Japan, and Korea,” he said of the campaign in Shenzhen where the Gilas girls went undefeated, including a convincing win over Lebanon in the final.

Also gracing the forum were team captain Ava Fajardo, Margarette Duenas, Sophia Canindo, Alyssa Rodriguez, Alicia Villanueva, Audrey Lapasaran, Ashlyn Abong, Jolzyne Impreso, and Venice Quinte. With them was former champion coach Ryan Gregorio, special assistant to the SBP president.

Aquino said it’s bittersweet that most of the U18 players who ruled the Shenzhen meet will no longer be eligible for the 2026 edition.

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“I hope that someday they can all represent the senior team,” he said.

“And hopefully we’ll find new faces to continue our programs. Our pool is growing bigger and bigger,” Aquino added.

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