Despite the immediate call up and short preparation time, the young Gilas cadets stood tall in Manama, Bahrain.
The team came of age in the campaign, schooling the 10-man, all-pro Thailand team.
Gilas’ average age is just 23 years young.
In two games, the young Filipinos routed the Thais by an average margin of 28.0 points while scoring an average of 91.5 points in the 40-minute game.
With this, interim head coach Jong Uichico wants all of them to come back when Gilas resumes its operations early next year for the final window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
“All of them.
“All of them are in contention to have a spot in the third window in February,” said Uichico.
There were a lot of standouts for the 3-0 Gilas squad.
Of course, there’s the quartet of Dwight Ramos, Juan Gomez de Liaño, Isaac Go, and Matt Nieto.
Then there’s the revelations in Justine Baltazar and Javi Gomez de Liaño. Meanwhile, Rey Suerte, Kobe Paras, Calvin Oftana, and Dave Ildefonso also proved that they can fit into roles in Gilas.
Allyn Bulanadi will be up there as well when he heals from a dislocated shoulder he sustained at Inspire Sports Academy.
The next window will probably have the PBA boys back, though, as Season 46 of the league will commence on April.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will probably go all-out then, since waiting during that window are arch-rival South Korea and a retooled Indonesia.
“All of them will have equal chances,” said Uichico, speaking on behalf of program director Tab Baldwin as well.
“We will make that assessment come next year when we start again our training camp, and we will make our decisions from there.”