This list of power forwards is stacked.
A power forward can be a specialist when it comes to being an enforcer, a shooter, a post-up threat, a defender, or a rebounder. In some cases, all roles are played by one person. The point is, every basketball team needs a dependable four, including Gilas Pilipinas.
Over the years, the country has seen several talented big men fill the position. On that note, here’s a top-five list featuring the best power forwards who rocked the Gilas blue.
5. Christian Standhardinger
Just like what he does in the PBA, the Filipino-German bulldozer can ram his way inside the paint and hit those awkward-looking yet effective shots around the rim. He’s got a couple of gold medals from the Southeast Asian Games as a Gilas member. And against tougher competition, C-Stan can more than hold his own just like when he posted 30 points and 12 rebounds against Iran in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
It’s just a shame FIBA won’t allow him to play as a local.
4. Carl Tamayo
Every time this 22-year-old prodigy suits up for Gilas, people can’t help but rave about Philippine basketball’s promising future. He’s got power, terrific footwork, and the ability to nail it from the outside. The former UP Fighting Maroon is currently playing for the Ryukyu Golden Kings in the Japan B.League. The hope for Tamayo is that his fledgling overseas career won’t take away from his commitment to the national team from here on out.
3. Japeth Aguilar
The 6-foot-9 Pampanga native is arguably the most athletic big man this country has ever seen. His outstanding leaping and shot-blocking prowess have made him an indispensable member of the national team. Given his great athleticism and defensive instincts, leaving him out of the Gilas roster in future competitions is quite unfathomable.
2. Marc Pingris
It’s hard to think of another guy, other than Jimmy Alapag, who has embodied the iconic PUSO battle cry as well as Marc Pingris. He’s the ultimate team player. His hustle and tenacity are second to none. He’s the guy who’ll get that much-needed rebound or defensive stop during crunch time, as displayed in the 2013 FIBA Asia Cup when Gilas finally ended the so-called Korean curse.
His never-back-down attitude was definitely an essential element in the national squad’s success back in the day.
1. Ranidel De Ocampo
Think Tamayo but a more seasoned version. RDO is a multi-faceted weapon at the four-spot. Set plays can go through him in the post. He can drop long bombs. And he can do damage in the paint. At 6-foot-6, he has the size and skill to hang with his counterparts on the international stage.
Check him out, running down the floor and setting up his teammate for the slam.
While doing all that, he also protects his teammates by being Gilas’ top enforcer on the court.
An all-time men’s national basketball team just wouldn’t be complete without De Ocampo.