The young Gilas prospects are in the pool because they deserve a good, hard look.
No, Jerom Lastimosa, Schonny Winston, and Mason Amos aren’t just token young guys in the latest Gilas pool. They are there by design — handpicked specifically by Chot Reyes for the different skillsets they bring to the table.
“Well, we already know what they can do. We just wanted to see how they can do within what we do [here at Gilas],” Reyes told News5. “We always like to say that we pick players based on ‘fit’ — how they fit with what we want to do in the system and how they fit [with] each other’s skills and abilities as well.”
Take, for instance, Adamson’s Lastimosa, who is widely considered as among college basketball’s best point guards. The 24-year-old court general, according to Reyes, is in the pool because of his ability to score quickly and in bunches.
“As you can see, we wanted to take a look at Jerome cause we don’t have that real ‘spitfire guard’ that Jayson Castro role in this Gilas. We wanted to take a look at that,” said the multi-titled PBA coach.
Winston, the former Green Archer, on the other hand, is getting his shot because of his shooting “because there’s always is room for more shooters.” It is also why Gilas has brought back sweet-shooting Jordan Heading, who has suited up for the national team twice already — in 2020 and 2021.
There is also Amos, an incoming freshman for Ateneo who previously played for the under-18 team. The highly touted big man is the youngest player in this Gilas pool, but Reyes is certainly intrigued by the 18-year-old’s skill set and the potential role he could play for the national team.
“We know he’s [Amos] very young, but we don’t have a real stretch four, a tall player who’s a knockdown three point shooter,” Reyes said of Amos. “We’re hoping and looking for Mason to fill that role.”
Of course, Lastimosa, Winston, and Amos aren't shoo-ins by any means. But best believe Reyes wants them to be part of the program.