Idols become teammates, and rivals of some sort, in this transition period for Gilas Pilipinas.
At 18 years old, Gilas Pilipinas big man Mason Amos is the youngest in the current national team pool and his age is literally half of veteran Japeth Aguilar’s (sorry Japeth, we didn’t mean to make you feel that old).
On Monday’s Gilas Pilipinas training, Amos got the chance to train with his national team kuyas and he has nothing but praise for the big men he grew up watching.
“I was just talking to Japeth before, he’s one of my idols and just the way he plays is amazing,” he told News5’s Martie Bautista. “Just to be on the court with him. I never thought I’d be here.”
Amos, who is also in the country to start his collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, said Aguilar already gave him lots of advice.
“He (Aguilar) said, when it comes to college, that’s the best time in your life to get your body right. To enjoy it, and play hard really.”
While at awe that he is playing with a childhood idol, the 6-foot-7 shooting big also knows that he is competing against Aguilar for the final spot in the national team.
“I still got to compete with him. He’s the same position as me. I work against him on the court but off the court, I learn as much as I can from him.”
No spot is assured in the national team — except maybe for Justin Brownlee’s — but coach Chot Reyes said Amos is a positive addition being a “a tall player who’s a knockdown three point shooter.”