May 24, 2024

By the Numbers: Gilas Pilipinas' naturalized player pool

By the Numbers: Gilas Pilipinas
Currently, Gilas has three active naturalized players for FIBA competition. Let’s review each one. Art by Mitzi Solano/One Sports
The talk of the Gilas Pilipinas town right now is the possibility of San Miguel champion import Bennie Boatwright suiting up as naturalized player for the national team.


With the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) confirming the talks for Boatwright’s naturalization, the ball is definitely rolling to have a pool of players at the disposal of coach Tim Cone for Gilas Pilipinas.


Currently, Gilas has three active naturalized players for FIBA competition. Let’s review each one.



JUSTIN BROWNLEE (Brgy. Ginebra and Pelita Jaya)


After his reinstatement, Justin Brownlee is the no. 1 choice for Gilas Pilipinas for the naturalized player spot, as confirmed by coach Tim himself.


Ironically, Brownlee has only seen action in four official FIBA games, first in the final window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers and most recently in the opening act of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in February.


In those four games, Brownlee is averaging 25 points per game, to go along with nine rebounds and five assists.


Of course, Brownlee’s Gilas experience also includes gold medal runs in the SEA Games and Asian Games last year.


Currently, Brownlee is signed to Pelita Jaya in the Indonesian Basketball League.





Regardless of the general sentiments of his status, Jordan Clarkson is counted as a naturalized player in FIBA action.


And in official games, Clarkson has appeared in seven games, first seeing action in one of the windows of the 2023 World Cup Qualifiers.


JC also took on the lead role in the actual FIBA World Cup last year, delivering a game to remember in the win against China.


In seven FIBA games for Gilas, Clarkson is averaging 25.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game.



ANGE KOUAME (UB Chartres Métropole)


Out of the current lineup of naturalized players, Ange Kouame has the most official FIBA games under his belt with nine.


Kouame has been in the lineup for three tournaments with Gilas, the final part of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, the FIBA OQT for the Tokyo Olympics in Serbia, and four games in the World Cup Asian Qualifiers.


In nine games, Kouame averaged 9.3 points and 5.7 rebounds.


Ange is the youngest naturalized player in the lineup, and at just 26-years-old, he would still hold that title even if Boatwright joins the fold.